Council receives full backing to begin acquiring Birnbeck Pier

North Somerset Council can begin the process of acquiring Birnbeck Pier after it received approval from the full council.

The council - working with Historic England - can start a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to gain the Somerset Pier.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the RNLI is looking to invest into the historic Weston-super-Mare pier and move its life saving operations back to the island.

Last year the council served a repairs notice to the private owner of the pier advising that urgent repairs were needed.

Last year the council served a repairs notice to the private owner of the pier advising that urgent repairs were needed.

In January 2020, the pier was then given a lifeline by North Somerset Council after the owners failed to produce any evidence of repairing the derelict site.

Historic England later allocated a grant to the council of £127,000 for a compulsory purchase of the Grade II* listed structure.

RNLI is now looking to invest into the historic pier which will significantly improve access to the water.

RNLI is now looking to invest into the historic pier which will significantly improve access to the water.

The CPO would take place as part of an immediate transfer of property to the RNLI.

It's hoped this will speed up the transfer process and will mean members of the public can return to the pier for the first time since 1994.

The pier opened to the public in 1866 but has now been on Historic England's 'buildings at risk' list for more than 20 years.

Now that we have full council support, we can begin the process of acquiring this historic building and secure the future of Birnbeck Pier.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Don Davies

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Don Davies said, “Anyone who knows Weston will know that Birnbeck Pier, originally one of its foremost attractions, and grade II* listed, has been in decline for many years. 

"It has been on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk List for over 20 years, yet the owner has failed to take action to conserve this important part of our national heritage

“An opportunity has arisen for the Council to intervene to not only safeguard the structure but to return the RNLI to their operational base on the island and to enable the public to again access the Pier and island, something they haven’t been able to do since 1994.

"Now that we have full council support, we can begin the process of acquiring this historic building and secure the future of Birnbeck Pier."