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North Somerset Council begins legal action over Birnbeck Pier

Photo: Historic England

North Somerset Council have begun legal action against the owners of Birnbeck Pier for letting it fall into disrepair.

Working with Historic England, North Somerset Council has served a repairs notice to the private owner of Birnbeck Pier.

The council has exhausted all other options to encourage the owner to improve the condition of the Pier and will now issue the repairs notice to advise the proprietor that repair work must take place.

London company C N M Estates purchased the pier in 2012 and the council say very little has been done to it since, and certainly nothing in terms of repair work. 

We contacted C N M Estates for comment, and a spokesperson told us:

"We are not making any comments until we have had an opportunity to review, which is currently happening with our advisors."

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Don Davies said: “We know residents are keen to see Birnbeck Pier restored, as the landmark is a key feature of Weston’s seafront. Over the last five months, external structural engineers have undertaken a detailed survey to establish the work needed to bring the pier back to the condition it was when it was listed in 1983. We thank Historic England for their unwavering support and I hope this is the first step towards Birnbeck being restored to its former glory.”

Birnbeck Pier is Grade II* listed with five further Grade II structures and buildings located on the island and the inward end of the site, including:

• Entrance gates and turnstiles

• Clock tower

• Toll house lodge

• North jetty

• Lifeboat house and slipway

The pier was designed by Eugenius Birch the noted Victorian engineer.

Construction took place between 1862 and 1867, with the foundation stone being laid in 1864 and opening to the public from 1866.

The pier closed to the public for safety reasons in 1994.

RNLI left in 2013 after 131 years on the pier.

A repairs notice is a swift and effective tool for alerting a proprietor of their statutory duties to repair and maintain the property they own.

The owner has a minimum of two months to respond to the notice.

Should that period expire without a response, the council will then agree a future course of action with relevant parties.

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