Repairs to Birnbeck Pier are critical and urgent

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 May 2014

Contractors have been on site to carry out some work to the pier (picture: Pete Holder).

Contractors have been on site to carry out some work to the pier (picture: Pete Holder).

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'CRITCIAL' repairs to Birnbeck Pier need to be carried out to reduce the risk of structural failure, an engineering company's report shows.

Crane at Birnbeck Pier.Crane at Birnbeck Pier.

Pier owner Urban Splash has applied to North Somerset Council for planning permission for emergency repairs to beams supporting the pier using temporary props, and ‘urgent’ protection works to the deck.

Structural surveys carried out by Mann Williams say the opportunity to repair parts of the pier in their current location is ‘diminishing’.

The report reveals concerns over the pier’s structural stability, corrosion and items of loose structure.

A spokesman for Urban Splash said the repairs were minor but necessary to keep it safe.

Urban Splash struck a deal for ownership of the pier with businessman Wahid Samady of CNM Estates in September 2011, and Mr Samady has until the autumn to finalise it. He hopes to use the pier as the cornerstone of a major residential development.

The Urban Splash spokesman said the state of the pier’s repair - which saw the RNLI move out at the end of 2013 amid safety fears - does not affect the deal with CNM Estates.

The survey shows the pier legs continue to provide ‘reasonable service’ but there were several areas of cracking.

The report says: “The failure of bracing in many areas gives a configuration which inevitably compromises stability.

“While the legs appear to be performing satisfactorily they have not been inspected in close detail.”

The continued deterioration of the pier’s braces are cited as a ‘significant concern’.

The report says how high-level lattice bracing, perimeter bracing and spider bracing needs to be completely replaced.

Meanwhile, the girder at the deck level is corroding and decaying and options to repair it in its original position are said to be diminishing.

The report says: “To reduce the risk of structural failure it is recommended urgent and essential works are carried out on [the] land end structure.

“To reduce the risk of collapse around the land end of the pier it is further proposed to provide a handrail to restrict access and a section of bridging walkway to span across the area identified as being the greatest weakness.”

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