Portsmouth News

Crazy golf on the beach will make folk see red

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It can hardly come as a surprise that plans to build a crazy golf course on the beach next to South Parade Pier are proving controvers­ial. The pier is a key Southsea landmark – one that the people of the city take great pride in.

Witness the joy at its reopening in 2017 after it was forced to close for several years due to its dilapidate­d state. If the structure had been allowed to rot into the sea, the outcry would still ring out today.

And for that reason we all owe a debt of gratitude to The South Parade Trust and all of those who helped save it. The fact that it was named as Pier of The Year in 2018 was testament to that work. The funfair, The Gaiety Bar, the arcade and a variety of food outlets have all helped turn it back into a (pandemic-excepted) thriving attraction.

But all of these things are contained within the existing footprint of the pier.

The new plans for a crazy golf complex will take up a 600sq m space to the west of the pier.

The plans were submitted to Portsmouth City Council back on February 21, but it is telling that the objections only started arriving within the past week – once the neighbours were notified on May 5. At the time of writing there are already more than 80 objections with only two writing in support.

The 140-year-old pier is obviously manmade, but many are clearly aggrieved at the loss of any more of the beach to further constructi­ons.

With a pitch and putt course and a crazy golf course further along the seafront it is easy to argue that this kind of attraction is already well catered for.

While owners Tommy Ware Senior and Junior argue that it will be ‘a good contributi­on to the seafront’ planners will have to take into account the strength of public feeling on this matter.

One also has to question how sensible the location is for our frequently storm-lashed shore.

Views can be submitted to the council until June 21.

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