Owners of Victorian pier told to carry out repairs

Birnbeck Pier is now derelict and dilapidated Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

A repairs notice has been served on the owners of a Victorian pier, which is the only one in Britain to lead to an island.

North Somerset Council said it had “exhausted all other options” in attempting to encourage the owners of the Grade II-listed Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare to carry out essential repairs.

The north jetty of the pier collapsed into the Bristol Channel during storms in 2016 and has been earmarked for demolition.

The council said the issuing of the repairs notice gives the owners a minimum of two months to respond and carry out essential work.

Council leader Don Davies said: “We know residents are keen to see Birnbeck Pier restored, as the landmark is a key feature of Weston’s seafront.

“Over the last five months, external structural engineers have undertaken a detailed survey to establish the work needed to bring the pier back to the condition it was when it was listed in 1983.

“We thank Historic England for their unwavering support and I hope this is the first step towards Birnbeck being restored to its former glory.”

The pier was designed by Eugenius Birch, the noted Victorian engineer.

Construction took place between 1862 and 1867. The foundation stone was laid in 1864 and it opened to the public from 1866.

In addition to the pier, five further structures, the entrance gates and turnstiles, clock tower, toll house lodge, north jetty and lifeboat house and slipway, are Grade II listed.

The pier closed to the public for safety reasons in 1994 and the RNLI left in 2013 after 131 years on the pier.

The owner of the pier, CNM Estates, did not wish to comment.