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Wheels are in motion for Birnbeck plans

PUBLISHED: 17:30 30 September 2011

New Owners old Pier, Wahid Samady and Michael Ross.

New Owners old Pier, Wahid Samady and Michael Ross.

Archant

A JOINT task force could be set up to support the new owners of Birnbeck Pier in turning their vision for the historic site into a reality.

Last week the Mercury exclusively revealed how businessmen Wahid Samady and Michael Ross have exchanged contracts for the Weston landmark.

North Somerset Council deputy leader, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, has already met with Mr Samady and suggested the idea of setting up a task force of interested parties, as happened with the Grand Pier rebuild two years ago.

He has also discussed the idea with council officers and they envisage a group involving English Heritage, the Environment Agency, Weston MP and Minister for Tourism John Penrose, ward members and the Friends of the Old Pier Society being involved.

Cllr AP Rees added: “I very much hope that after previous false starts that this time we can collectively pull it off.”

Mr Samady and Mr Ross say they are ‘on a mission’ and have given themselves 60 days to crystallise their vision for the landmark, its island and land at the shore end, before they submit a planning application.

They insist there will be no ‘hanging around’ and the next two months will be the time spent consulting with interested parties, before the project moves on in leaps and bounds.

Mr Samady is also behind the plans for a major leisure and residential complex called Birnbeck Peninsula, next to the pier, just part of the £200million portfolio he says he is working on.

He and Mr Ross acquired the Birnbeck site from Urban Splash, which admitted to key stakeholders at a meeting over the summer that it would need a major financial injection from elsewhere to carry out basic work at the site.

3 comments

  • Too many dreamers have promised big things in this town, however, if these two chaps have the same drive as Kerry and his sister did in order to rebuild the Grand Pier, then this dream could turn into a reality. Actions really do speak louder than words, Mr Samady and Mr Ross. Weston is watching.

    Report this comment

    Weston2010

    Friday, September 30, 2011

  • Well what ever Samady & Ross come up with I do hope the public will respond positively for a change. Casual cynicism and bog-standard NIMBYism will kill any attempts to bring life to this part of Weston.

    Report this comment

    shameless contrarian

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

  • Makes sense to involve the Tourism minister. The pier is of national importance being the only pier in the UK to an island. I can't believe it has been left so long in its present state. There must be a way found to bring this back into use, and quickly before it gets even more storm damaged ! Surely there must be some public money available for restoration ? The priority should be on saving it, not endless arguments over what goes on the island or how accurate the restoration is. The north jetty looks as if one big wave would finish it off ! Lets hope this wonderful and unique part of our heritage isn't lost for good.

    Report this comment

    Bucket and Spade brigade

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

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

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