Letter: Sale of Hastings pier is embarrassing

The news has reported that Hastings Pier is to be put up for sale [Tuesday 20/2/18].

Friday, 2nd March 2018, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:27 am
An aerial view of Hastings Pier. Photo by Eddie Mitchell.

This is very bad and embarrassing news for all the townsfolk who worked so hard to save and restore their historic landmark. I was surprised to hear it reported that the structure is relatively weak, in terms of further development. After all that great expenditure?

In truth there has been an overall lack of forward financial planning and imaginative thought. The history of many national projects over the last two decades is that well intentioned ideas do not survive without having in place a secure income stream.

It’s not hard to find people who are keen on the open plan meditative, minimalist space but “fine words butter no parsnips” in the end.

There is a certain irony when the media constantly reminds us that the pier was judged RIBA Building of the Year recently but I don’t think it is a building. It’s not even a pier, just an oddly-shaped deck. It has more in common with our newly launched expensive Aircraft Carrier that also has nothing on it.

Notwithstanding my concerns, however, there appears to be no lack of interest from the commercial sector already. Someone on TV said they didn’t want to see lights on it. Driving past the gloomy outline at night, especially in the winter, suggests otherwise!

There is a partial comparator with the DLWP here in Bexhill, although that has now achieved both footfall and finance so it’s a great success on paper.

Councillors thought they had solved a long-running problem but ended up with a Faustian pact that lost them all control over the iconic real building, generously bequeathed to the town by the De La Warr family. Now it isn’t even open on summer evenings! It looks as though history will repeat itself with our neighbours, although I suspect that the pier will certainly be open all hours and a great money spinner-for someone. As to the original aims and intentions? I suggest they were not clear enough.

Dave Walsh

Rotherfield Avenue, Bexhill