1. ITV Report

Demolition work halted on Birnbeck Pier

The pier was opened in 1867 but has since fallen into disrepair Credit: ITV News

The owner of Weston-super Mare's Birnbeck Pier is being urged to make his plans for the site clear after work to demolish part of the crumbling structure was suddenly halted.

Wahid Samady, of CNM Estates, confirmed to ITV News West Country that the northern jetty would be demolished after being severely damaged by bad weather last September.

But having said the work would start this week, there has been no sign of progress on the site.

Mr Samady told us his company is in continued discussions about the future of the derelict Victorian pier but North Somerset Council Chairman John Crockford-Hawley insists there has been no contact from the London-based owner.

Public access ended in 1994, even the lifeboat crew have abandoned ship. Now no-one dares step along it's barely-there walkways which extend for a kilometre and maintains - just about - it's claim to be the only pier in the country linking the mainland to an island.

The north jetty is due to be demolished after partly collapsing in the storms of December 2015 Credit: PA

Demolition builders were spotted close to the pier, building an access road but there is no planning permission to do so.

Further legal opinion is being sought within the Council. A Stop Notice has been prepared and is ready to serve should that become necessary.

Any other works will require separate planning permission and thus far CNM Estates have submitted no planning applications for anything, nor have they attempted to discuss the matter with planners.

– North Somerset Council Chairman John Crockford-Hawley

The chairman also claims contractors have blocked a Public Right of Way without permission.

How reinstatement of the cliffside might be effected remains a mystery, but mystery is part and parcel of CNM estates modus operandi.

– John Crockford-Hawley

The northern jetty lies several hundred feet offshore and work was expected to be carried out by floating barges out to the site.

Close-up on the damage to the northern jetty which has become an eyesore Credit: ITV News