Concerns over deteriorating pier

FEARS are mounting that Birnbeck Pier could soon fall into the sea and that most of its buildings are beyond repair. North Somerset councillor John Crockford-Hawley says that any more bad weather could mean that the whole structure will collapse once and

FEARS are mounting that Birnbeck Pier could soon fall into the sea and that most of its buildings are beyond repair.North Somerset councillor John Crockford-Hawley says that any more bad weather could mean that the whole structure will collapse once and for all.Urban Splash bought Birnbeck Pier last September and bosses at the Manchester-based development company plan to turn it into a landmark project.Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "The council is concerned about the deterioration of the buildings there. It is aware of the condition of the pier as well."We only need one storm to take away part of the pier and that would be the end of it. A serious storm could be catastrophic for Birnbeck."It is open to the council to serve a notice on the owners to ask them to maintain the structure but I hope things would not have to get to that stage. "It is in Urban Splash's court to take action. I want it to succeed because if it doesn't there is no hope for the pier."National Piers' Society executive member, Mike Davies, says most of the buildings at the end of Birnbeck are beyond repair.He said: "All the buildings, apart from the lifeboat one and the clock tower, are too far gone to be saved. There has been further deterioration."A lot of wood on the Grade II listed buildings is rotten. Every time it rains water goes down the roof and into the walls, so the walls are crumbling too."The building behind the main ballroom has collapsed and another property, which was originally divided into two flats, is also in a dire state, along with the main ballroom. They are beyond repair."An Urban Splash spokesman said: "The state of the buildings will be reviewed and considered as development plans progress. "It will be some months yet before we are ready to announce future plans.


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