RNLI believes return to Birnbeck Island 'the most credible option' for Weston
- Credit: Archant
The RNLI believes returning its life-saving operations to Birnbeck Island is 'the most credible option' to enable it to provide the safest service for Weston.
Earlier this month a High Court judge ruled the pier must be sold by January 22.
CNM Estates purchased Birnbeck Island and pier on January 22 under a new entity, Birnbeck Holdings Limited.
CNM wants the RNLI to provide its life-saving from the island but it believes the charity should contribute to the costs of the pier's repair.
An RNLI spokesman told the Mercury: "Birnbeck Island provides the safest access to launch and recover our lifeboats at all states of the tide.
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"After investigating other sites over 20 years, our property on Birnbeck Island remains the only site we are aware of in Weston that fully covers the life-saving need and minimises the chances of preventable loss of life.
"The RNLI is currently supporting the compulsory purchase order (CPO) issued by North Somerset Council with the goal of returning safely to our lifeboat station.
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"At the moment, the CPO process is the most credible option to secure access and ensure the RNLI can provide the safest, most effective lifesaving service for Weston."
The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust said it was 'disappointed' to hear of the pier's sale.
Its spokesman said: “The trust is disappointed, but not surprised, to hear that CNM Estates have sold the pier to another company under the direction of Wahid Samady.
“There has obviously been a financial settlement between Mr Samady and Mr Sullivan in order for the sale to be able to go through to this new company which was only established just before Christmas.
“We do not have confidence that the pier will somehow rapidly be repaired and rebuilt as a result because it hasn’t happened so far after years of neglect by Mr Samady.
“We will be interested to hear who the new backers of the scheme are and what their plans are to save the pier and help bring it back into public use for the benefit of the people of Weston.
“In the meantime we are confident that the CPO process can continue as that has been served on the property rather than the owner, which has now changed.”