In 2000 the Pier was sold to Ian Stuart, a wealthy speculator who immediately set about making changes to the listed structure without permission. The Pier re-opened in 2001 but despite major investment nothing was done to the decaying substructure. In 2005 the Council received an engineer’s report showing that the Pier needed repair work of up to £1.2 million. The following year the Pier was found to be so unsafe that the Council imposed a closure order on the Pier beyond the apron. As the Council continued to try to negotiate with Ravenclaw the people of Hastings began to fear that the Pier would be left to rot. At a public meeting in 2007 a campaigning group called Friends of Hastings Pier was set up. After various legal proceedings against Ravenclaw, where they failed to turn up, the pier was effectively abandoned.
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