Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990. As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.
c) CLOSURE: In 1965 the West Pier Company was taken over by AVP Industries. Four years later the owners sought permission for the demolition of the southern end; the pier was listed to protect it, but the southern part was closed in October 1970 as being dangerous. A public inquiry was then held into the pier’s future in 1971, but when the council’s policy committee recommended that demolition should not be opposed in December 1974 a strong protest group led by John Lloyd conducted a long campaign which, armed with a 5,000-signature petition, persuaded the council at least to postpone a decision on the pier. Meanwhile, the West Pier itself closed completely on 30 September 1975.
The council declined to buy the pier in 1976 but served a dangerous structure notice on the West Pier Company to have the section over the Lower Esplanade repaired. This action resulted in the liquidation of the company and the vesting of the pier in the Crown Estate Commissioners after the Official Receiver disclaimed it. The council also set aside a reserve fund of £300,000 in case demolition became a necessity.
Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder