A week is a long time in the leisure industry – ask the owner of Southwold Pier, Stephen Bournes, entrepreneur and restaurateur. Just over seven days after announcing plans to build a £5m hotel on the site of the historic seaside attraction he has now decided to put the pier up for sale after failing to secure development funds. Having secured planning permission to demolish the existing Southwold Pier Pavilion and replace it with a five-storey, 30-bedroom hotel – the first of its kind in Europe - Bournes last week said he planned to begin work on the building in October. But now, after reassessing his finances, Bournes has decided to sell the pier and its assets for £6m. He said: “We have been striving for three years to acquire planning permission for the new development. We will leave the Pier with great sadness. We have enjoyed this wonderful opportunity and have become very fond of all our staff.” The pier, which was originally built in 1900, features three retail outlets as well as restaurants The Promenade Café, The Broadwalk Restaurant, and The Clockhouse Brasserie. It underwent a major refurbishment programme in 1999, before being purchased by Bournes in 2005. Christie & Co are handling the disposal of the historic asset.