A PLANNING application has been submitted on behalf of North Somerset Council which outlines its plans for the first phase of its work on Weston's Birnbeck Pier.

If given the go-ahead, work could start on the landside buildings later this year in the hopes that they could reopen to the public in 2025.

This would also enable further phases of the project to take place, which includes restoring the pier itself and re-establishing the RNLI’s lifeboat station on Birnbeck Island.

Haverstock, the council's appointed architect practice, is seeking permission for plans that include:

  • Restoring Pier Master’s Cottage and reinstating the bell tower, extending the building to the north to create space for a café intended to open to the public all year round;
  • Creating other visitor facilities, including toilets;
  • Essential repairs to weatherproof the other landside buildings known as Pier View, the old shell shop, and the South Toll House;
  • Stabilising buildings on the island including The Pavillion, 1888 Boathouse and the Clocktower;
  • Providing essential services and infrastructure to the whole site – the landside buildings, the island and the pier itself – including work underground on water and sewage pumps, and installation of a new fit-for-purpose electricity substation.

This part of the restoration and renovation work is being funded from an allocation of £4.47m from the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Councillor Mark Canniford, the council's executive member responsible for placemaking, as well as local ward member, said: “It’s encouraging to see these proposals submitted for planning approval. Momentum is really building now and we’re edging ever closer to starting work on site later this year.

“Just earlier this month, the council’s Executive approved for the project team to go ahead with sourcing construction contracts to deliver the restoration work. It’s certainly all systems go, which is extremely exciting.”

Tom Gibb, Partner at Haverstock, added: “We’re excited to submit a planning and listed building consent application, the first step to reinstating the pier site as a publicly accessible attraction and unique heritage experience.

“This first application aims to arrest decay and save significant historic fabric on both the landward and island site. The application includes reopening and extending the Pier Master’s Cottage as a space for the public to view subsequent phases of repair and regeneration.”

The project as a whole is made possible thanks to funding from the RNLI, UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, National Heritage Memorial Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.