Peoples Pier Press Release
22nd February 2015
... Comments

Over 300 members of the public and local political leaders thronged a public engagement event about South Parade Pier on Saturday.
People were invited to have their say on what facilities they want to see on the pier  if it eventually reopens.
At times queueing up to six deep, people ranging from pensioners to families with young children packed a large meeting room all day long at the Royal Beach Hotel, opposite the pier.
The meeting was organised by South Parade Trust and the University of Portsmouth School of Architecture.
It was the Trust's fifth major public or political event success in just over six months.
"This demonstrates the public's widespread and continuing respect across Portsmouth for South Parade Trust as guardians of the public interest in protecting our iconic, Grade II Listed, 136-year-old pier," said Trust chairman Leon Reis.
"South Parade Pier is clearly not going away as an issue in this city anytime soon."
The pier is currently boarded-up, semi-derelict and officially closed as dangerous to the public.
Recent new owners are battling to repair the devastation caused by four years of lack of maintenance or enforcement of repairs, which resulted in collapsed steelworks,  concrete decks and ceilings.
The 300-plus people on Saturday were interviewed by 20 graduate architects studying for Masters degrees at the university this year.
The Masters students will distil the mass of public aspirations they collected into source material and inspiration for their own creative designs on how the pier might evolve.
After analysis and compilation of the data at the university, the Trust will pass it back to the new owners to help them with their commercial plans for the rejuvenated business.
Following talks with the Trust, the new owners' project manager has visited the university, provided the students with a mass of engineering data, drawings and images, and agreed to allow some of the students onto the pier. He has also invited the Trust's committee to visit the pier and view the extensive recent repair works.
When the public engagement event started yesterday, deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council  Luke Stubbs spent 90 minutes talking to the students and public.
Later, Portsmouth North MP and Government Minister Penny Mordaunt MP toured the event and talked to the public and students. Ms Mordaunt has responsibilities for piers in her portfolio at the Department for Communities.
Two parliamentary candidates for Portsmouth South, Flick Drummond (Conservative) and her Labour opponent, Sue Castillon, also attended and had animated conversations with the students and public.
"This turnout has been another thumping success for South Parade Trust after we persuaded the council to issue a statutory Repairs Notice in December, outlining exactly what engineering works MUST be done, by law, to keep the pier safe," Mr. Reis said.
"This represents united and effective action and continuity of the Trust's campaign."


Comments from:
Leon Reis
South Parade Trust
+44 (0)7957 617 055

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Peter L

Member since: 4th June 2013

An owner of Thebestof Portsmouth, I have lived in Portsmouth and Southsea all my life, so I like to think I have a good idea about what makes us tick. I am passionate about all things Portsmouth and Southsea,...

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