No talks to save Birnbeck's 'pile of rust'

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:44 28 May 2014

Birnbeck Pier jetty. Photo by Neil O'Donoghue.

Birnbeck Pier jetty. Photo by Neil O'Donoghue.

Archant

THE would-be developer of Birnbeck Pier has admitted there are no plans to sit down and discuss renovating 'the pile of rust'.

Wahid Samady, CNM Estates chairman, went 
public with his plans in November for flats jutting out into the estuary and apartments on the island, after North Somerset Council rebuffed them saying the proposed development was too big.

He said the ‘ball is in the council’s court’ because he wants to know what the authority would deem acceptable.

While Mr Samady called for the council, Weston MP John Penrose and members of the Old Pier Society to meet him for a discussion, he admitted there were 
no plans to do it anytime soon.

He said: “We need the council, the councillors and the good people of Weston to come together to provide constructive suggestions.

“The only victim of this holding pattern is the pier itself. No-one in their right mind is going to lose £10-12million on the project.

“I’m exhausted by the number of solutions we’ve tried to provide. It doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to the town.

“If our ideas feature too much development, fine, what are their ideas?”

“If I spent £15-20million on some stunning apartments, people will then ask about this pile of rust.

“People have gone to understand that if there was a simple solution, it would have already been found.”

He said talks over funding from English Heritage are ongoing. If it can provide some finance, he said there would be less development needed around Birnbeck to fund repairing the pier.

Mr Samady added: “I’m not fed up and I’m not going anywhere. We have been set design parameters which everyone’s agreed. But then people don’t like the answers we’ve provided.”

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