Hastings council leader expresses frustration with pier reopening delay

Hastings Pier has been closed since DecemberHastings Pier has been closed since December
Hastings Pier has been closed since December
The leader of Hastings Borough Council has expressed his frustration that reopening of the town’s pier will be delayed.

Councillor Peter Chowney made the comments after pier owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar said the reopening would be delayed by a few weeks.

Mr Gulzar shut the pier for three months in December 2018 for essential repairs.

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On Tuesday, Mr Gulzar said the reopening would be delayed, however, in a Facebook post on Friday morning added it would be open ‘before Easter’.

Councillor Chowney, who has previously said the pier closure could have been handled better, added: “We were disappointed when the pier closed suddenly before Christmas, potentially losing out on the lucrative business between Christmas and the New Year.

“Similarly we had a fantastic half term in February, with the temperatures some of the highest ever recorded in winter. The town and our seafront was packed, with several traders saying they’d bettered their summer trading figures on some days. Yet the pier remained closed.

“We understand that the storms of the past fortnight may have had an impact on the pier, but we would have expected that any issues could have been addressed quickly with an appropriate maintenance regime.

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“Easter is likely to be very busy too, especially as it is later this year; normally residents and visitors would flock to the pier then, the traditional start of ‘the season’.

“It is frustrating to see this fantastic attraction standing empty. We remain very keen to work with the pier management, but urge them to reconsider their position and reopen the pier as soon as possible, and certainly before the start of the Easter holiday.”

On Wednesday (March 21), Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd wrote a letter to her constituents saying the pier ‘belongs to our town’.

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