Foreshore Trust should consider purchasing Hastings Pier
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We the undersigned petition the Foreshore Trust to meet with Hastings Pier Administrators to consider purchasing Hastings Pier.
We have all seen that Hastings Pier went into administration some time ago and that the Administrators are looking for potential buyers.
This could see the Pier return to private ownership with a risk that in time it may fail again, fall into disrepair and become an eyesore. It may be sold on again and again with the residents of Hastings and St Leonards having no say as to how it is managed or maintained. This would be a sad waste of the time, effort and money that so many local people have put into restoring the Pier since the fire of 2010.
However, there is an organisation that could purchase the Pier and keep it in public ownership: The Foreshore Trust.
The Foreshore Trust owns all the land along the foreshore from Bulverhythe to Rock a Nore. It is run by Hastings Council on behalf of the Trust, but is essentially owned by the people of Hastings and St Leonards “for the common use, benefit and enjoyment of all Her Majesty’s subjects and of the public for the time being for ever”. It generates more than £1.4m in revenue each year from parking and rental streams.
Until now, the Trust has not spoken to the Administrators of the Pier, even though it previously provided financial help to the Pier Charity. The Trust has both the resources and the mandate to take on this structure as a freeholder and, perhaps, to find a suitable operator for it under terms that can ensure its maintenance, quality and public access. It seems common sense that the organisation that owns land around the Pier should be engaging with the Administrators.
This petition is aimed at starting a dialogue between the Trust and the Administrators to try to find a solution to the historic problem of who owns the Pier and how it is maintained for future generations.
We ask that this matter is discussed as a matter of urgency by the Foreshore Trust.
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