Published: 11:55, 19 July 2019
| Updated: 11:59, 19 July 2019
A town's last fishing pier, used by 10,000 anglers a year, could close completely for four years.
That's the fear of Dover Sea Angling Association, which says that this threat stems from a long postponement in repairs to Admiralty Pier by the Port of Dover.
The group said, in a Facebook posting: "At the very best opening hours will need to be greatly reduced with weekend only opening much of the year and turning away anglers and walkers on the busier days.
"The worst outcome is the pier is closed completely for at least four years.
"Either option will almost certainly lead to redundancies among the pier staff and have a significant impact on the many local businesses who benefit from the local and travelling angles who are using the pier.
"This is something we are desperate to avoid."
The Facebook post, written by DSAA chairman Richard Yates, says that the first half of the walkway needs repairs and a year ago DHB said that would be done soon but the second half could still be used for fishing.
But, DSSA says, DHB has now said that due to the scale of the work needed it would not start any repairs for at least four years.
DHB owns the pier and DSSA is the leaseholder and Mr Yates said the long delay means his group would itself have to close the second half.
This is because it usually just breaks even, would not be able to run a half-used pier, with resulting lowered income, for so long.
The loss could only be absorbed if there was a semi-closure for a year to 18 months.
Money comes from sources such as anglers' fees.
Admiralty, the outer western boundary of Dover Harbour, is on if the best known fishing piers in the UK but is the only one in Dover where angling is allowed.
Prince of Wales Pier closed because of the port authority's Dover Western Docks Revival.
The new Marina Pier, opened in May as part of the rolled-out development, does not allow fishing.
Admiralty Pier is also used by walkers such as those on the Bluebird Trail, a self-guided heritage route.
A Port of Dover spokesman said: “We remain in continuing dialogue with DSAA over the ongoing provision of fishing from Admiralty Pier and the impact of structural repair works.
" We have been working closely with the Association, balancing the interests of our stakeholders alongside the demands of long term port infrastructure provision and safety and security issues.
"We are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in our infrastructure across the port and are doing so during a time of great economic uncertainty for the nation.
"But we have maintained fishing throughout.
“We remain very mindful of the interests of all current users of the port, including anglers and related local businesses, and will continue to engage with them."
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