Part of Birnbeck Pier to be demolished after storm damage

Part of Birnbeck Pier collapsed into the Bristol channel after last year's storm damage Credit: @ShaneBurney/Timmay Curtis

Part of Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare is to be demolished after last year's storms left it badly damaged.

The Grade Two listed pier opened in 1867 but shut in 1994 and has fallen into disrepair.

Campaigners had called for it to be repaired but North Somerset Council has given permission for the deck and legs of the North jetty to be removed.

The report recommends that the North Jetty on the pier be demolished as it currently poses a threat to public safety.

"It is likely that if the North Jetty was to ever became functional for visitors,replacement of much of the jetty would be needed (rather than repair) in order to make it safe to hold the weight of visitors and to comply with BuildingRegulations.

"Considering all the matters, the repair of the North Jetty deck is not realistic due to its current state.

"There is a lack of funding available at this time for a replacement jetty. Whilst this is not in itself a persuasive reason to permit demolition, there is a clear need to remove the danger to the public the jetty currently causes."

The North Jetty - in green - will be removed Credit: North Somerset Pier

Concerns have been raised over protection of habitats and the potential damage to the estuary demolition could cause.

There will be an assessment of the impact prior to any work going ahead and approval of the demolition will depend on the results of the assessment.

"The area is also the Site of Nature Conservation Interest(SNC) and the Site of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC).

"The Estuary provides habitats for many species of protected birds including internationally important species.

"Given this sensitivity the applicants are required to consider the potential impacts of the demolition on the integrity of the estuary during the demolition. The agent has been asked carried out a draft Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA)."