Portsmouth council planners deal blow to South Parade Pier

South Parade Pier planning application blow
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South Parade Pier has been dealt a blow after a retrospective planning application for its new 19-seat cafe deck was opposed by local councillors. In a resort where hospitality is the lifeline, the local authority showed itself to be more equipped to pull the plug.


Portsmouth City Council has declined to grant retrospective planning permission for a new cafe terrace already built to the east of South Parade Pier, calling the construction “shoddy and tawdry.”

The decking, which accommodates 19 tables served by pier kiosk Tea on Sea, had been approved on a smaller scale in 2018, however councillors objected to an expanded structure built this year.

“It’s just like a scar on the side of the pier now,” said councillor Linda Symes. “It really detracts from the beauty of that wonderful listed building and makes it look shoddy and tawdry.”

Adding his opinion, councillor Daniel Wemyss said “it isn’t an attractive area with that decking.”

A proposal to build a 1,431 sq ft deck next to the pier was approved by planners three years ago, with the application from the owners stating “the covering of this relatively small part of the beach, which is little used by bathers, would not have any negative impact on the overall attractiveness of the beach for users.”

“This is an entirely reversible addition to the pier that could be removed in the future without harm to the pier structure.”

However, the existing permissions expired prior to pier owner Tommy Ware constructing the new 1,914 sq ft deck, with five of eight councillors voting in opposition at a recent meeting despite a report from the council’s own planning officer which advised granting approval.

“The objection of local residents to the loss of public beach is noted and it is acknowledged that the design and management of the structure would reduce public access or at least the perception of public access to this part of the beach,” read the report.

“This impact does of course need to be balanced against the enhancement to facilities and economic implications of the proposal.”


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