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Owner of derelict Birnbeck Pier to be given repairs notice from local council

The owner of Weston-super-Mare's Birnbeck Pier will be given a repairs notice from North Somerset Council in the hope they will carry out vital restoration work.

The derelict pier has been in a state of disrepair for decades. Credit: ITV West Country

Historic England and North Somerset Council are working together to issue the notice which will "advise the owner that repair work must take place."

The notice is used to remind owners of "contractual duties" to repair and maintain a structure.

Birnbeck Pier - the only one in Britain to lead to an island - has been in a state of disrepair since its closure in 1994 and was once listed on the Victorian Society's Top Ten Endangered Buildings list.

A spokesperson from North Somerset Council said:

Working with Historic England, North Somerset Council is to prepare a repairs notice to the private owner of Birnbeck Pier. The council has exhausted all options with the site and will now issue the repairs notice to advise the owner that repair work must take place. A repairs notice is a swift and effective tool for alerting a proprietor of their statuary duties to repair and maintain the property they own.

– North Somerset Council spokesperson
Part of the pier fell into the Bristol Channel following storms in 2015. Credit: @ShaneBurney/Timmay Curtis

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust has campaigned for the pier's revival since 2004, but has struggled to secure funding and support.

In 2017 members announced they had support from North Somerset Council so could start applying for the vital money needed to fund the improvement work.

But funding hasn't been the only problem associated with the Grade-II listed pier.

Last year crews from Weston-super-Mare RNLI were called to several rescues of people getting stranded on the island.

The shingle path leading to the derelict Victorian pier becomes submerged in minutes, preventing people from walking back.

The grade-II listed pier was once listed as one of the Victorian Society's top ten most endangered buildings. Credit: ITV West Country

Birnbeck Pier was built between 1864 and 1867.

It provided entertainment for local people and was a major transport link with steam ships travelling to Cardiff, Minehead, Ilfracombe and Lundy Island.