Southwold Pier sale ‘creating interest’

AGENTS handling the sale of Southwold Pier are expecting interest to pick up as the summer season draws to a close.

Despite August being a traditionally quiet month for the property market, Christie and Co say they are pleased at how things have gone since the pier was put up for sale in July - and they're now expecting things to pick up.

Director Tim Gooding, based in Ipswich, said: 'The initial level of inquiries was very encouraging... August is always a relatively quiet month because there are lots of people away. We expect there to be more activity in September.

'We are pleased with how things are going. However I am unable to say any more at this stage.'

Current owners Stephen and Antonia Bournes put Southwold Pier on the market in July for �6m.

The couple decided to sell up because they could not commit to a planned multi-million-pound extension.

Permission for a new 30-bedroom luxury hotel to replace the existing pavilion was given the go-ahead in December last year.

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It was originally due to cost between �2m and �3m but, with the scheme, which was three years in the making, now estimated at �5m, it is no longer financially viable for the couple, who have two teenage sons.

The pier is the second biggest employer in Southwold and has 45 full-time staff, which rises to 95 in the summer season.