Architects committed to Weston pier project

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 March 2011

Birnbeck Pier Sunset from Prince Consort Gardens.; 26-1-10

Birnbeck Pier Sunset from Prince Consort Gardens.; 26-1-10

Archant

ARCHITECTS behind the multi-million pound Birnbeck Pier project say they are still committed to the scheme - despite winning the contract for the derelict landmark three years ago and never seeing any of their visions brought to life.

Urban Splash, which owns the Weston site, plus the surrounding island, awarded Bristol and London-based firm Levitate the deal for redesigning the decrepit pier in March 2008 following an international competition.

But three years later, although some remedial work has been carried out, there has been no sign of the major redevelopment project the town has been waiting for.

There have been rumours of the site being unofficially up for sale, promises from Manchester-based Urban Splash that the project will still go ahead and complaints from interested parties and the Mercury that bosses at the company appear to be stonewalling the people of Weston when it comes to providing answers about the landmark’s future.

This week, Levitate director Spencer Guy gave the Mercury his reassurances that dialogue was continuing between his company and Urban Splash and that he was still committed to the project.

He said: “We are not doing any work on it at the moment, but we are in regular contact with Urban Splash.

“Trial repairs have been carried out, but there is no firm timetable for when things will start there.

“I don’t have any views on when I would like work to start there.”

Levitate’s designs included holiday flats, up-market restaurants and family-friendly facilities.

The winning team’s design included plans to create a ‘complimentary alternative’ to the town’s busy seafront, where visitors can explore rock pools, bird watch and see the sun set over the coast.

There were also proposals to construct two linear buildings at the end of the main pier, which could contain a mixture of residential and leisure facilities like a hotel and holiday flats.

The winning designers were told they would receive £25,000 and a commission fee for their work.

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