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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 10:25 GMT
Pier under threat in heavy seas
Hastings pier
The consultant's report is being put on the council website
Hastings Pier is at high risk of being damaged in heavy weather, a structural survey has found.

The Victorian structure in East Sussex was closed by Hastings Council in June 2006 amid fears it could collapse.

It had the structure surveyed after a court found the pier's owner had breached safety laws.

The council has heard the pier is under threat and it will not be able to meet the repair and maintenance costs of 13.6m over a 10-year period.

The survey found the pier was threatened by corrosive salt spray, and a lack of rigidity also put it at risk if was hit by a vessel or extreme storms and tides.

Papers submitted to the cabinet said divers had examined the piles of the pier, and surveyors had also examined its underside.

Escalating costs

Councillors heard that the pier was "traditionally a place of entertainment and its future would appear to be firmly linked to this purpose".

The report said if the pier was retained it "must have a communal significance", while any changes would need to take its heritage into account.

The survey found it would be "impossible for the council to shoulder costs on the scale identified", and more research would be necessary.

It came after a court case last month where the pier's owner and operators were convicted of breaching safety laws.

Incorporated Ravenclaw Investments and operators Boss Management (UK) Ltd were fined 80,000 plus costs.

The consultant's survey of the structure is now being put on the authority's website to encourage "maximum debate" about the pier's future.

Discussions are also being held with heritage groups and businesses.



SEE ALSO
Campaigners seek to reopen pier
10 Feb 07 |  Sussex

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