The operators of Hastings Pier, Lions Hastings Pier Limited, recently posted a sign at the entrance gates stating: “We would like to remind the general public that the land under the pier is private property. Please do not walk under the pier. Thank you for your co-operation”. Underneath was a more peremptory message: “PLEASE RESPECT OUR PROPERTY. NO TRESPASSING”.

It appears from the title register at the Land Registry that they were technically correct in asserting that the land under the pier, as well as the structure of it, is in the private ownership of Sheikh Abid Gulzar.  However, it is difficult to see how an edict against trespassing upon it could be enforced without erecting physical barriers. Quite apart from contesting the daily tidal ingress that would evoke the memory of King Canute, that would require planning permission, which would surely not be forthcoming. 

On its Facebook page last week the company posted a more reasoned statement: “We would respectfully request general public to not walk under the pier. This is due firstly to the recent tidal activity which has unearthed some sharp metal debris dating back to the 2010 fire and has also exposed buried cables which are embedded into the seabed and secondly the manner in which hypodermic syringes have been discarded under the pier making the area undesirable to walk on.”

The Facebook page also states that construction is “well underway” on the first of four new additional log cabins on the eastern side of the concourse, to be used for commercial retail and catering purposes.

“We are delighted that a local business Skinners Sheds is undertaking this transformational development for us which will help generate additional resources for the pier.”

Skinners are no doubt delighted too, as it has given them the opportunity to install a large banner along the seafront balustrade advertising to passing traffic their general business wares and services.  

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