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Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby slotalot » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:34 am

Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare ................very sad :cry:

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Re: Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby wembleylion » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:39 pm

Birnbeck Pier
The pier suffered extensive storm damage and in 1994 was closed to the public by the local authority. The pier is currently owned by Urban Splash who hoped to restore it to include a mixed-use redevelopment, featuring a hotel, leisure and residential accommodation as they have other derelict structures thought un-saveable (not now believed a viable proposition by Urban Splash)
The Department of the Environment has granted the pier Grade II-listed status.
The Pier is deteriorating rapidly, and the only persons allowed onto the property, other than the owners, are the RNLI crew who have replaced some of the decking for their own safety and have built a temporary boat house for their two inshore boats. The only other structural work carried out in recent times took place in March 2010, when - thanks to an English Heritage Lottery grant - the cast iron trestles that were in most need of remedial work (the four nearest to the island) were refurbished to a high standard. As a result of this, North Somerset Council have brought together several interested organisations (which include North Somerset Council, English Heritage, the RNLI, the Friends of the Old Pier Society and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust) to form a working party. It is hoped that this group will be able to put together a viable business plan in order to secure lottery funding.

For a full history, information and photographs click here. I love the water splash; bet they won’t rebuild that.

I hope they have better luck than those who tried in vain to save the Brighton West Pier, the remains of which stand as a monument to the incompetence and ineptitude of successive Brighton Councils to save the lovely, ornate, Grade 1 listed Victorian structure.


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Re: Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby woody2 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:54 pm

i remember the penny arcade on there.

it has the same problem as west pier with a competing pier, so HLF will not fund it.

as soon as the council offered residential use, the value went up 10 fold, the currant plan is for 200 flats on the headland

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Re: Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby treefrog » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:28 pm

I see this Pier is back in the news today and since the two topics here and below has deteriorated massively, I believe mainly from the big storms over the last 3 years with lots of the Pier structure gone and the building now roofless......

Help save Birnbeck Pier

I suspect the fears mentioned above of indecision and lack of commitment has been proven.

Was interest by the below picture taken in 1998 when first being sold and the random Aristocrat mechanism abandoned on the pier head rusting away, very poignant....wonder how many machines were left by the previous owners..


I am sure I have seen below picture before either on here or postcards, but the heyday with lots of lovely cast iron machines


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Re: Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby badpenny » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:50 am

Birnbeck Pier could have new owner.

Reported by PA Media (who?) today .......
After years of decline, a historic Victorian pier could have a new owner.

The RNLI is planning to return to Weston-super-Mare’s Birnbeck Pier as part of a deal to safeguard the landmark’s future.

North Somerset Council has been working to draw up a compulsory purchase order for the derelict Grade II listed pier from its owner CNM Estates.

If the compulsory purchase order is approved, the council would purchase the pier and transfer ownership to the RNLI.

The pier, which was designed by engineer Eugenius Birch and built between 1862 and 1867, is unique as it is the only pier in the UK to connect the mainland to an island.

The privately-owned pier has continued to deteriorate over many years, moving onto Historic England’s national at-risk register in 1999.

Next month the council will receive a report to authorise the issuing of a compulsory purchase order for the pier, which could take up to 18 months to complete.

“We have given the owner many opportunities over the years to undertake the necessary repairs needed to preserve the pier, without success, even starting legal action to compulsory purchase order the site as a last resort.

“This is a fantastic result following a great deal of work from council officers, Historic England and the RNLI.

“Clearly there is a lot of work to do to restore the pier and re-establish the lifeboat station back to its original home.

“We would like to thank Historic England for their ongoing support in securing a future for Birnbeck Pier and look forward to seeing this historic structure reopened to the public, as well as providing vital lifesaving to North Somerset.”

Duncan Macpherson, from the RNLI, said: “The charity has been working alongside North Somerset Council and Historic England on the feasibility of re-establishing a lifeboat station on Birnbeck Island and this is a significant step towards that goal.

“Weston-super-Mare is a very important search and rescue base for the RNLI but is also a very complex area in which to build a lifeboat station.

“Birnbeck Island offers the best solution for the safe and most effective launch and recovery for the volunteer lifeboat crew at all states of the tide.

“The move will be a significant investment for the charity and the future of lifesaving in Weston-super-Mare.

“Of course, the pier also has huge historical significance to the community of Weston-super-Mare and, although there are a number of challenges to overcome still, the RNLI are delighted to be part of the journey to bring it back to its former glory.”

The RNLI have had a presence on Birnbeck Island since 1882 but were forced to leave the island in 2014 due to the deterioration of the pier, which had become unsafe.

Bristol Channel has an extreme tidal range and at low tide the large mudflats that surround Weston are exposed, making the launch and recovery of a lifeboat difficult.

Birnbeck Island is surrounded by water at lower tide which improves the opportunity to launch and recover lifeboats.

My view? It's superb news that a healthy future is predicted for the pier.
Also I'd like to know what is the point of "Historic England’s National at-risk Register" if something can be added to it for 21 years and nothing happens?
A pointless exercise, involving a Quango obviously unfit for purpose.

BP dirtdog

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Re: Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby wembleylion » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:57 am

Brilliant news BP, lets hope it all works out this time.

The previous plan, by the private owners, was to build retail and housing on the land adjacent to the approach road, the rents from which, would support maintenance of the pier section but the initial repairs were reliant on Lottery funding.

The Lottery application, which was heavily supported by North Somerset Council, the Town Council, English Heritage, the RNLI, the Friends of the Old Pier Society and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, was turned down by the Lottery Commission because it is not their policy to fund private owner schemes.

Hopefully, the RNLI being a charity will be eligible for Lottery funding and repairs will soon be underway.


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Re: Birnbeck pier Weston-super-mare

Postby coppinpr » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:59 am

The RNLI will indeed be the key. Any projects where the council was prepared to inject even a little money went out the window with the lockdown, especially coastal towns facing a year with no tourist income. The Bristol channel is the busiest section of saltwater for the RNLI (the Thames is their busiest area strangely) and they have more stations in that catchment area than any other and they are very active and they felt the loss of the old station. It wasn't just the pier that was a problem for the old station, the station itself needed modernising. It was built for a large deep-sea lifeboat which couldn't be launched from the old station during some low tides (see the aerial video above). My guess is it will be a fast inshore boat station with the modern launch systems, unless they really go to town and rebuild and extend the launch ramps, but that's very expensive.

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