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

Birnbeck plans compared to Alcatraz

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.”

5 comments

  • The plans show some car parking space on the landside. But don't show the access to the parking levels. Will it be by car lifts ? Mega expensive, and what if the lift breaks down. Or will it be by spiral car ramps ? This would take up a lot of space, plus all the space required to park say, 170 cars, in the three jutting out buildings. That's say, 55 cars each block, plus the space to manoeuvre around amongst the parked cars. Then, there's the 15 to 20 villas on the Island. Where are they going to park ? The Grand Pier has a two ton weight limit on it's Pier. When it caught fire, the fire engines (8 to 10 tons) all had to park on the road (it's the wooden planks that can't take all that weight on such a small tyre footprint). Even if the Birnbeck Pier was built as strong as the Grand Pier, there are many cars and especially 4x4s that weigh 2 tons or more. How would you fancy parking your car landside, and walking 300 yards across the Pier in tonight's drizzle and murk, to your luxury villa ? Sorry, Mr Samady might obtain planning permission, but his plans will never come to fruition.

    Report this comment

    Stork

    Monday, November 11, 2013

  • Snappy comeback :-) - not too sure I'd want to live there; after the initial attraction had worn off, the island isolation effect would kick-in - depressing after a while, except for, maybe, 2 months in the year? Better it's USP is all year round attractions, TBD?

    Report this comment

    Mukiwa

    Monday, November 11, 2013

  • Who owns the shore line for the 3 blocks of flats?

    Report this comment

    Westonman

    Monday, November 11, 2013

  • Censored again, can Archant publish those words that is regards as libellous - beats me why my submission was sent into cyberspace, never to be seen again?

    Report this comment

    Mukiwa

    Monday, November 11, 2013

  • Maybe the place to relocate our more troublesome residents ?

    Report this comment

    Chris White

    Monday, November 11, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 20:00
Blueprint

Two warehouses at the Westland Distribution Park in Weston-super-Mare’s Winterstoke Road could become a recycling centre if a planning application is approved.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00
Samaritans

A 40 per cent increase in calls from people in despair has left a charity in North Somerset facing an urgent need to recruit new volunteers.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Burnham's RNLI need you!

Burnham’s RNLI team is calling for people to sign up for lifeguard training, ahead of the summer months.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00
Team of volunteers putting hands together

A village partnership which provides activities and outings for young people says it may ‘not be here’ next year unless more people help to run the service.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Guests enjoying the festivities.

Skittle players from Winscombe were up all night at the weekend, raising money for Cancer Research in honour of friend and teammate Steve Hucker, who is fighting the disease.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
The Winter Gardens.

Weston College has now officially taken over the town’s iconic Winter Gardens – and is calling on the town to share its memories of the gardens, as well as any suggestions for the building.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Bristol Airport believe this will be a busy weekend.

Bristol Airport bosses have paid testament to the South West’s ‘thriving’ economy after passenger numbers exceeded seven million for the first time in a 12-month period.

Read more
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Bikes will be loved in Burnham.

Cyclists in Burnham will be ‘feeling the love’ during the summer months after new heart-shaped cycle hoops were installed on the Esplanade last week.

Read more
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Kenya charity challenge

Two grandmothers from North Somerset are taking their charity efforts to the next level.

Read more
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Martin Bishop with his highly modifies 1953 Ford Popular

Motoring fanatics gathered to enjoy a display of stunning cars and delicious food at an event in the North Somerset countryside last week.

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: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Great British Life

Great British Life

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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder

Find planning applications