THE landmark bandstand on Ventnor Esplanade could be taken over by the town council — after confusion over who is responsible for maintaining the public access area atop.

Southern Water owns the pumping station but there was some confusion over whether it was responsible for the viewpoint above, which has been closed for years due to safety concerns.

Isle of Wight Council was similarly unsure whether it was responsible, and for months there has been no progress in getting to the bottom of the issue.

The area used to be freely accessible to the public, and was used by Ventnor Fringe as a popular alternative venue until recent years.

Cllr Stewart Blackmore, Ventnor mayor, said the town council met with the IW Council yesterday (Tuesday), to consider taking it over.

He said: "It is something we are quite concerned about because of the safety aspect, but there is no clarity over the ownership.

"It goes back to before the present administration at County Hall and we have looked at the land registry but to no avail.

"The town council is interested in taking ownership of it, so watch this space and hopefully we will get an answer pretty quickly.

"It needs maintenance and a new roof but it is an asset for Ventnor and was always used an awful lot in the summer.

"It's become a landmark. We would not seek to develop it but it would be nice to have more events and music there.

"The priority is to make it safe and take it from there. It would be most gratifying to see it in use again."

The County Press has asked the Isle of Wight Council for a comment.

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