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Newspaper’s pier campaign hit by blaze setback

A weekly newspaper’s campaign to restore a disused pier to its former glory has been dealt a major blow after it was largely destroyed by fire.

The Hastings Observer’s ‘Save Our Pier’ campaign, which was launched last year, was hailed a success this summer after winning council backing for a Compulsory Purchase Order.

Hastings Borough Council decided it would start the CPO process to force the current owners of the pier to sell up so it pier could be brought back into use, earmarking £200,000 to meet the legal costs of this.

But a blaze which started in the early hours of this morning has destroyed a large part of the pier, casting fresh doubt over its future.

A 3,000-name petition was collected by the Observer under its campaign, which was presented to the council urging it to work with the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust to ensure the pier can be reopened.

And this summer the authority agreed once the CPO was completed, it would hand over ownership of the structure to the trust.

Chief reporter Richard Morris said the blaze had been a big setback for the pier’s redevelopment project but members of the trust were still hopeful the plans could be achieved.

He said: “They are not too downhearted about it. The majority of the damage is to the top of the pier which they were going to change anyway.

“Obviously it is a big setback but they are pretty determined. The council are going to do a full structural survey next week.

“It is a setback but we won’t know how big a one until next week.”

Richard added the fire had come just a day after the trust had launched a competition for architects to design the redevelopment.

The newspaper’s campaign estimated the town had lost out on an estimated 750,000 visitors and more than £9m in tourism revenues since the 138-year-old pier was closed four years ago.


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  • October 6, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Nice try at a community campaign by a local paper, but I’d have thought the citizens of Hastings have other things on their mind in the current economic crisis.

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  • October 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    This stinks! A carbon copy if you’ll forgive the pun of the Brighton pier fire.I have predicted such an event and others I know feel there are dark deeds at work here!

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