Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Birnbeck plans compared to Alcatraz

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 November 2013

Birnbeck Presentation

Birnbeck Presentation

Archant

PROPOSED villas on Birnbeck Island have been described as an ‘eyesore’ and likened to Alcatraz prison.

Wahid Samady exclusively revealed his vision to resurrect Birnbeck Pier in last week’s Mercury, with 15-20 villas on the island and about 170 flats jutting out from the mainland.

However his plans have been heavily criticised by his former business partner, a councillor and the majority of Mercury readers.

Mr Samady said the scale of development is necessary to generate £10million profit which would pay for the pier’s repair and his design would help put the town back on the map.

Cllr John Crockford-Hawley was shown the plans months ago by Mr Samady but he had to promise not to reveal them to the public in return.

He said: “For more than two decades we’ve seen one ridiculous scheme follow another.

“While any successful business at the pier will be dependent upon income generation I’m afraid this Samady plan would create an eyesore of such enormity that the historic pier itself would sink into architectural oblivion.”

Jim Scott, Mr Samady’s former business partner and joint-owner of the former Royal Pier Hotel, was equally critical.

He said: “The island development seems to have been draw up by the same architect who designed Alcatraz.

“Maybe it could be used as a prison when nobody buys what will be overpriced luxury apartments in the middle of the murky Bristol Channel and the three fingers on stilts idea seems to have been cobbled together to resemble a Vietnamese fishing village.”

An online poll run on the Mercury website showed 47 per cent of readers were in favour of Mr Samady’s proposal. But comments left online and posted on the Mercury’s Facebook page were almost unanimously critical.

Messages described Mr Samady’s vision as ‘pie in the sky’, ‘disgusting’ and a ‘monstrosity’.

Concerns over whether there would be enough parking - despite Mr Samady saying the bottom floor of each block of flats would have room for vehicles - and accessibility for emergency vehicles were also raised.

Cllr Crockford-Hawley added: “There is only one way forward and that is for the pier to pass into charitable hands with substantial Heritage Lottery Fund involvement.

“The alternative lies in the muddy depths below.”

Other News Stories

34 minutes ago

Police are searching for a man who failed to turn up at court to face allegations of assault and criminal damage.

Read more
4 minutes ago

Nearly 200 students from a Worle secondary school have taken a first step into writing careers by having stories published in an anthology.

Read more
10:00

Weston-super-Mare police have recovered a large haul of stolen power tools and are encouraging victims to visit the police station.

Read more
14:00

Revellers gathered at a village pub with pots and pans to bless the orchard during the historic Somerset tradition of wassailing.

Read more

An exhibit of ‘national significance’ will be displayed at Weston Museum later this year.

Read more

Emergency services were called to Burnham-on-Sea following an incident which saw somebody trapped in a crashed car after failing to stop when ordered by police.

Read more
07:37

Stormy weather and heavy rain is set to batter the Weston-super-Mare coastline overnight (Wednesday).

Read more

Almost all of Weston General Hospital’s beds have been full throughout December and the beginning of January, missing NHS targets.

Read more
11:00

A Weston-super-Mare woman drove away happy after winning a car worth thousands of pounds.

Read more
09:00

Weston-super-Mare’s new creative hub will host a free technology event next week, offering expert digital advice to the town’s fledgling businesses.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder