Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southsea's South Parade Pier owners 'committed to reopening'

South Parade Pier Image copyright N Chadwick
Image caption The pier was closed by Portsmouth City Council in 2012 following safety concerns

The owners of a derelict pier say they are committed to re-opening it.

The Grade II listed South Parade Pier in Southsea, Hampshire, was closed in 2012 after being deemed "a danger to the public" and at risk of collapsing.

But delays over the opening have been questioned by community group South Parade Trust, who claim there have been 14 proposed opening dates since 2014.

Owners South Parade Pier Ltd said there were plans in place to re-open the front section "as soon as we can".

The company told the BBC it was unlikely to be open before Christmas.

Spokesman for the pier's owners, Malcolm Belcher said the notice imposed by the council had been lifted on the pier's first 51m (167ft).

Image copyright Leon Reis
Image caption An emergency repair plan to save the pier which is 139 years old is ongoing

He said: "To open the pier up completely was always going to be a significant task - so we've decided to open it up in chunks from front to rear."

The consortium said a decision on opening dates was expected "in the next few weeks".

South Parade Trust chairman, Leon Reis said: "Every time something happens you get a new date for the opening of the pier - people are starting to get worried."

Mr Belcher said: "We need to ask people to be patient and to understand this is a complex building. It's more important that we get right.

"We want this to be an asset to the people of Portsmouth."

South Parade Pier Ltd, who bought the Victorian pier in Southsea in 2014 for an undisclosed sum, said repairs in excess of £2m had been carried out on it so far.

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