Pier owners submit planning application ‘to refurbish site’

Plans to refurbish and preserve Weston’s Birnbeck Pier have been revealed.

Jones Lang LaSalle Limited, on behalf of pier owners CNM Estates, has applied for listed building consent.

The submission is in response to a repairs notice, which was issued by North Somerset Council in September 2019.

Parts of the pier, including its trestle legs, bracing deck boards and lamp posts, will be removed during repairs to be assessed and restored.

Artefacts could be removed, stored and assessed and will be agreed on-site with a listed buildings authority and engineer, which could include cast iron lamp post columns, ornate cast iron seating and handrails.

Unsafe timber decking, timber firrings and deck beams will be removed and a survey and inspection of the existing structure by the engineer using contractors will be conducted.

The design and access statement says: “Since the issuing of the repairs notice, CNM Estates has sought to prioritise the required works to ensure that those works with the most immediate priority, to stabilise the pier and safeguard its future, are undertaken to prevent any further loss of structure.

“There is no doubt that these works are required. These works are the essential first step in the refurbishment of the pier.

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“The application proposals are considered to be in accordance with the statutory duty and national and local planning policy as these works form the first step in the phased refurbishment of the pier.”

As part of a repairs notice, the application aims to ensure appropriate surveys and inspections are undertaken as well as install temporary bracing frames to provide better stability for the pier.

Earlier this month, CNM was offered £1 by the council to avoid it being bought using a compulsory purchase order (CPO) and to avoid it being forcibly taken into public ownership.

MORE: Council makes £1 pier bid.

The council agreed to press ahead with the CPO in July, which would take place as part of an immediate transfer of property to the RNLI, which will move its life-saving operations back to the island.

The RNLI previously outlined plans to remove the crumbling raft and supporting structures as well create a visitor centre, walkways, gift shop and supporting facilities at the seaward end of the pier.