Sussex

Hastings Pier closure: Council must pay any compensation due

Decking on the new Hastings Pier Image copyright Hastings Pier Charity
Image caption Hastings Pier has been given a new lease of life since the fire in 2010 which left it badly damaged

The Supreme Court has ruled a town council must pay any compensation due after it closed down a pier.

Hastings Council is facing a multi-million pound claim for financial losses from a business that ran the pier's bingo hall and amusement arcade.

A compulsory purchase order was issued against Panamanian owners, Ravenclaw after it refused to carry out repairs.

The court refused the council's appeal against a ruling that it is liable, following the closure in 2006.

The Supreme Court ruled: "Given that the 'true culprit' Ravenclaw was beyond the reach of enforcement procedures, the court was faced with the familiar problem of deciding which of the surviving parties should bear the loss."

Council leader Peter Chowney said it would "robustly challenge any large compensation claims".

He added: "The judgement also recognises that the council can argue that any compensation must take into account the fact that the pier was in a poor structural condition.

"We believe that we acted entirely correctly when we closed the pier."

The pier was almost destroyed by a fire in 2010, but reopened to visitors in April.

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