Pier is the heart and soul of town

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MIKE Edwards (readers’ letters, Observer, February 10) urges us not to invest in rebuilding the pier and to clear away this derelict eyesore.

However, he fails to explain what that means and what is involved.

The metal superstructure would need to be completely removed.

Anything less would present a danger to swimmers in the most popular area of the beach and an ongoing serious navigational hazard.

It would be costly enough to simply clear the burnt out structure and decking but the bill for complete removal would be very considerable.

I doubt that its removal would attract Lottery money or private enthusiasm backed by cash.

Faced with conflicting priorities neither local nor national Government are likely to stump up the money any time soon, so the edifice would deteriorate further and continue to be an eyesore for years to come.

In contrast, a new and staged development, on and around the surviving structure, properly managed by local people will provide an architectural challenge, attract entrepreneurs and provide exciting commercial and employment opportunities

As to nostalgic dreamers: those of us with longer memories of the quiet passage of the electric trolley buses which stretched across our town, or the Albert Memorial in floral splendour which gave it a heart, the removal of the pier would be another blow, another victory for soulless unimaginative modernity.

PETER HOLLAND

St Helens Road