Littlehampton Anchor Springs gets a makeover.

First of all apologies for the lack of posts on the Pier Road blog. Regular visitors to our bike shop in Pier Road will know we’re currently in the midst of moving our business from Pier Road into Anchor Springs, Duke Street Littlehampton.

We’re leasing the premises that was previously occupied by Kim’s the Barbers who has now retired.

The last few weeks and indeed months have been busy and difficult for us. Trying to find a suitable property to move our shop into hasn’t been easy. Quite honestly I am shocked by the attitude of some Littlehampton Landlords who refused to accept our business on the basis that we’d bring unfair competition to Littlehampton’s only cycle shop.

Thankfully our new landlords are more forward thinking and we’re delighted to have signed a relatively long lease on the shop in Anchor Springs which will secure our business – The Dutch Bike Shop & Coastal Cycles for hopefully many years to come.

Thanks to all of you who’ve popped in saying how much they enjoy reading this blog and the posts on the Pier Road twitter feed.

Initially my thoughts were that I wouldn’t continue with the blog as I’m leaving Pier Road however I’ve decided to continue with it but future posts will concentrate more on what’s happening in Littlehampton town centre area and looking at the many challenges facing independent retailers/business owners.

Anchor Springs Wall gets painted.

For many years I’ve been surprised at the appalling state of the UK Power Network’s perimeter wall in Anchor Springs. It’s depressing and no doubt adds to an overall feeling of  degeneration.

As the view from my new shop looks directly onto this wall I contacted UK Power Networks to ask them to repaint it. They refused. A polite refusal where they told me that their policy was only to ‘secure’ there properties, how they appeared weren’t really of concern to them.

I find this shocking and unacceptable more especially as UK Power Networks earn over £1.4billion annually in the UK.

So I asked them if I could paint their wall for them, which they agreed. However, I decided to have one last bash at them and I wrote to Basil Scarsella, CEO UK Power Networks advising him that I felt it unfair that I as the owner of a small cycle shop should have to paint the wall of his billion pound business.

I also ask Mr Scarsella how he could justify UK Power Networks policy of not worrying about the appearance of their buildings, provided their ‘safe and secure’.

To be fair to Basil Scarsella, he replied to my email within 15 minutes and one of his management team agreed that the wall would be repainted as soon as possible. He also apologized for the way the property looked.

Good on him and hopefully we can see some brightness from his end!

I’m delighted to say that the wall has now been repainted and I’m now going to work on the council (not sure which one yet who owns the ‘foliage’) to improve the planting here and create a more uplifting experience.

If they refuse, I’ll do it myself.

I’ve got to say, that I cannot understand why anyone from either Littlehampton Town Council or Arun District Council’s Regeneration team haven’t insisted UK Power Networks improved the presentation of their Littlehampton site.

Regular readers of this blog will recall how Arun District Council threatened Pier Road’s most eccentric resident Alan with enforcement action over his property. If you missed it – you can read it here.

UK Power Networks Littlehampton site gets repainted.

What’s happening with our old shop buildings?

I’ve no idea other than to say that the Property Development company who purchased it from our original landlords have now sold it onto a London based Investment Bank.

The property is in dire need of either a substantive makeover or being knocked to the ground and rebuilt. Either way, the condition of the property and the new conditions imposed by the landlords, were unacceptable to us and it was time to go.

No doubt at some point in the future the site will be redeveloped as housing – which in some ways I think would be good for Pier Road provided a commercial premises was retained on the ground floor.

In any event, something urgently needs to be done to it and I think we were right in saying we’d had enough of babysitting it for speculative property developers who showed no loyalty or consideration for our business needs. Not to mention the fact that our landlords wanted to near double our rent and make us responsible for maintaining their dilapidated buildings.

I’ve been unable to tell them personally to screw themselves, as they hide a commercial agent. But if by chance they do stumble upon this page…..

Our new shop opens for business on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 and we really look forward to seeing you there.

Remember there’s free 2 hour parking (courtesy of Littlehampton Traders Partnership) in either of the two public car parks which are adjacent to Anchor Springs. You can also park free of charge all day in what was the old Waitrose Car Park.

Hopefully something will happen with the old Waitrose building soon and the area can get a much-needed boost. It was a real shame that Waitrose left Littlehampton.

I hope to write more regularly on Pier Road now we’re almost there with the move, so please do sign up for regular posts, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll find the sign up box on the top right hand side of this page.

With best wishes,

Paul.


As always, thanks for reading, your comments always welcome.

 

The Mooring’s Tea Rooms in Pier Road, Littlehampton are closing.

With regret and sadness, the proprietors of Pier Road’s much loved MooringsTea Rooms have announced they are closing their business on Tuesday, 20th December 2016.

Moorings Tea Rooms Pier Road

Joint owners, mother and daughter team, Kay and Hannah have issued a statement explaining why they’re closing this very popular and much loved tea rooms.

Kay’s letter is reprinted below:

      It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this letter.

As you will know I love the tearoom, all my lovely customers and friends. I have thought long and hard about how the tea room can remain with my health problems and Hannah’s desire to pursue another career.

The only feasible answer would be to drastically  change the tearoom making it more manageable but then it wouldn’t be the Moorings.

I have therefore come to the painful decision to close. I will miss you all and The Moorings, but feel it’s ultimately the right thing for me and my family.

We will be closing at 4pm on 20th December.

I am then proposing to offer a service of cakes, scones and shortbread and gluten free products with a minimum of 48hours notice.

I propose to offer from April catering for small functions at your home High tea, birthdays, baby showers, christenings, wakes etc. Details will be on the Facebook page if you don’t do Facebook then you can email your details to kaypresgrave@hotmail.com or text 07904907801.

Love and best wishes for 2017.

Kay, Hannah and Andrew.

A great shame that Pier Road and Littlehampton is loosing The Moorings Tea Rooms. As a neighouring business, we will certainly miss the delicious home baking, quality coffee and friendly efficient service from Kay and Hannah’s delightful business. I know that many customers of our own cycle shop, The Dutch Bike Shop in Pier Road love to pop into the Moorings while we work on their bicycle and will be most disappointed when they learn this business has closed.

Pier Road

Pier Road is home to a thriving variety of independent businesses including restaurants, retailers as well as a wonderful fresh fish kiosk. I’m sure I speak for all business owners in Pier Road by wishing Kay and Hannah every success for the future plans.

We’ll be sad to see this business close, but are pleased to see that Kay intends to run a mobile events catering business, which will bring her delicious food direct to your home or office.

Wishing Kay, Hannah and Andrew all the very best for the future.

Paul


As always, thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome.

 

 

 

 

Amazing ‘behind the scenes’ pictures of the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences.

A huge thanks to Eric Smethurst, VolkerStevin’s Scheme Liaison Manager for providing us with these amazing behind the scenes pictures of the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences.

Sit back, and enjoy the amazing views… (taken from the bucket of the Crane!)

Don’t forget to click on the pictures to see them full size.

Littlehampton Sea Defences

Littlehampton Sea DefencesLittlehampton

Littlehampton harbourLittlehampon sea defencesLittlehampton Sea DefencesEnvironment Agency Flood DefencesLittlehampton flood defencesLittlehampton HarbourLittlehamton sea defence constructionPiling GatePiling Gate pictured above and below

Piling gate

Littlehampton HarbourThanks again to Eric Smethurst, VolkerStevin and Andrew Walker, Environment Agency for kindly providing and allowing us to publish these pictures on the blog.

Eric Smethurst Volker Stevin ManagerEric Smethurst (pictured above) who kindly provided these pictures is the Project Team’s Scheme’s Liaison Manager and can be found in the Visitor Information Centre situated just above the Oyster Pond Boating Lake. If you have any ‘how-to’ questions regarding the construction of the scheme, Eric’s your man. A wealth of knowledge and a veteran of sea defence construction projects.

I have been advised by the Environment Agency that will be providing an update regarding the progress of the scheme early next week, which I’ll publish once available.

A very Happy Christmas to all our customers and readers.

All of the businesses in Pier Road would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers (and readers of this blog) a very happy and peaceful Christmas and thanks for all your support in 2013.

Our thanks also to the team at the Environment Agency – Andrew Walker, Peter Borsberry, Sam Munnings for their help and support during this year and consulting with us. Likewise thanks to Roger and Rachel at Arun District Council, John Edjvet (Town Centre Manager) and finally a big thanks to Eric Smethurst from VolkerStevin for brightening up Pier Road during what is proving to be a difficult time for most of us.

The latest update from the scheme is that the piling works are now 4 weeks behind schedule with no piling having taken place in Pier Road at all. It’s disappointing for everyone, but the scheme’s contractor’s are keen to stress that a four week delay in piling doesn’t mean the scheme is 4 week’s behind.

On Friday 20th December the works will pause for the Christmas break and will resume again on the 6th January 2014.

Other important news is that Arun District Council have announced they have (with immediate effect) suspended their ongoing enforcement of the parking regulations in the area behind the Road Closed Signs in South Terrace. This being the area in front of Riverside Fish Kiosk. This area has seen extraordinary, and in my view unforgivable over-attention by Arun’s Traffic Wardens, which regrettably has had an enormous impact on visitors to our area with associated loss of trade. Why this area became the subject of such aggressive enforcement is not clear, but given that this area of the road is clearly marked as ‘ROAD CLOSED’, it’s easy to see why visitors parked here.

Thankfully, common sense has finally prevailed and West Sussex County Council are introducing a half-hour waiting maximum waiting area in this area of South Terrace, which will be helpful.

Arun District Council Traffic WardensThe area behind the above signs had been the subject of intense and prolonged ticketing by Arun District Council’s Traffic Wardens or CEO’s as they’re called. This area was regularly visited by Arun’s Parking Enforcement Officers who demanded those who were parked there to move or face ticketing. Unattended vehicles were ticketed. It’s absolutely incredible that given the relatively small size of this area (approx 100 metres on only one side of the road – left hand side), and that the road itself is clearly marked as ROAD CLOSED that the area was the subject of such intense activity by Arun District Council. The effect of their unnecessary, bizarre actions has resulted in a dramatic loss of business for businesses in Pier Road.

Thankfully, common sense has finally prevailed (thanks to West Sussex County Council)  you can now park in this area for up to a half an hour.

Please remember if you’re visiting Pier Road – there is a free car parking area provided by Arun District Council for all visitors and customers of Pier Road. This car park is located in the West Green Car Park – this being the square, almost tiled area just in front of the Windmill Public House. It’s clearly marked – Car Parking for Pier Road  – just make sure you’re parked in the area provided.

DSCF3157Here’s a picture of Pier Road as it is now (22nd December 2013)  having been closed since October 2013.

Pier Road closedHere’s a picture of how it was the day after it was closed.

The differences being:

  1. Fence erected
  2. Bins removed
  3. Green kiosk removed
  4. An area of the pavement has been leveled with tarmac.

The only real activity that we’ve actually seen in Pier Road has been the over-zealous, unwanted and destructive attentions of Arun District Council’s Traffic Wardens and the near annihilation of our businesses.

Other than that, a very, very happy Christmas from the Pier Road Diaries – thanks very much to all our readers for taking the time to visit, and all our contributors for taking the time to share your views.

Catch up with you all in the New Year.

Paul

Littlehampton Sea Defence Works hampered by bad weather, broken machinery leading to ongoing delays

And further delays expected….

Not the best of news, I’m afraid.

The Environment Agency have confirmed that Littlehampton’s Sea defences have already fallen approximately two weeks behind. Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency explained earlier the problems they’ve experienced.

Andrew says: “We have encountered a number of issues on site during the first 4 weeks of construction. Firstly, poor weather and high winds in the first two weeks led to some delay in the building of the crane.

Secondly, we have encountered some problems building the very large steel piling gate which allows us to drive steel piles into the ground. It’s extremely important to get this correct.

Thirdly, the brand new crane which is being used to move the heavy steel for the piling gate and to drive the piles has developed a major mechanical fault.”

So, how will this impact on the end date for the completion of the scheme?

Andrew says: “Whilst we are all working extremely hard to manage and resolve these issues, the combination of these factors has currently occurred a delay in progress in the order of two weeks. We have plans in place to resolve these issues, but at the current time, there is the potential for the duration of the current delays to increase.”

Littlehampton Sea Defences crane workSpecialists are now working on the crane in an attempt to repair it. The major problem described by Andrew is that the engine has seized believed to be caused by a loss of all its oil during operation. Unfortunately, it appears replacing the engine isn’t going to be easy owing to the logistical problems in the relatively small area where the crane operates.

Some better news in that Pier Road’s and Littlehampton’s only and best fresh fish kiosk is now open for business after being swung into it’s new position just opposite the Nelson Public House.

Riverside Fish LittlehamptonRiverside Fish Kiosk is now open again for business and customers today were enjoying buying some of Littlehampton’s freshest fish.

Fish Mongers in LittlehamptonIf you haven’t already sampled the fresh fish from Riverside Fish, pop down and taste the difference between supermarket – factory-farmed fish and the real thing caught off our beautiful shores as well as further afield. Simon (pictured above) is an ex-commercial fisherman and his wealth of knowledge in how to prepare (ask him nicely and he’ll do it for you) and cook fish is second to none.

Understandably, there is a growing sense of frustration and despair amongst traders in Pier Road as we’re looking at a road which is now closed with little or nothing appearing to be going on in it.

Littlehampton Sea DefencesThis picture taken earlier today, Friday, 22nd November shows Pier Road over a month on since the works began and the only apparent difference being the removal of the litter bins and the Fish Kiosk moved to it’s new location.

However, Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency is more reassuring about this saying: “We have built periods of non-productive time, (it’s called ‘float’ in project manager terms) into our programme of works for poor weather. This means we are able to tolerate a certain amount of weather delay and still meet out key dates.”

Another notable development is that the Environment Agency’s Public Drop In Centre is now up and running and is located just above the Oyster Pond (just behind Riverside Fish Kiosk) and is manned by the very amenable Eric Smethurst who is VolkerStevin’s Public Liaison Manager.

Environment Agency Visitor information centre LittlehamptonThe Environment Agency’s Public Drop in Centre is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – 8am to 4pm. Outside of these hours, Eric is not too far away and can usually be found somewhere on site.

The long awaited “Pier Road Open for Business signs” have now gone up at all the major road closed junctions and a special thanks to John Edjvet, Arun District Council’s Regeneration Officer/Town Centre Manager for taking the lead and erecting smaller signs in all of Arun District Council’s seafront notice boards and also for arranging signage to be placed at the Flintstones Centre in Littlehampton Town Centre.

Pier road open for businessJohn Edjvet from Arun District Council’s signage on along Littlehampton promenade.

Finally, please, please remember that Pier Road is open as usual for business and we’d love to see you here. We’re all extremely grateful for those regular customers who have continued to support our businesses during what is a difficult time.

Remember, or if you’re not aware, if you’re visiting Pier Road there is ample free parking in West Green Car Park – this is the car park just outside the Windmill. Look for the signs as you drive in. If you’re coming from the opposite direction to Pier Road – as in from New Road the double lines along Pier Road are seasonal and not currently enforced. You can usually find short term parking along here if you’re visiting Pier Road.

Again, thanks for reading – if you haven’t already make sure you sign up for regular updates on Pier Road Diaries by entering your email in the top right hand corner. Do also follow Pier Road on our twitter account – @Pier_road

And do, please come and visit us.

Finally,  500 Santas are due to visit Littlehampton Seafront all in aid of raising funds for St Barnabas Hospice. The event, the first of it’s kind will be run this Sunday starting at 11am. Competitors can sprint, jog or walk a 3km route (about 2 miles) from Banjo Road Car Park.

If you’d like to be one of the 500 Santas, please visit St Barnabas Hospice Website registration page listed below. If not, make sure you pop along on Sunday morning to cheer them on and help them with their fundraising.

To register visit here.