Somerset

Owners of derelict Birnbeck Pier served repair notice

Birnbeck Pier Image copyright Rob Farrow/Geograph
Image caption The 152-year-old Birnbeck Pier shut in 1994 over safety concerns

The owners of a Grade II* listed Victorian pier have been ordered to carry out repairs after a council said it had "exhausted all other options".

The north jetty at Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare collapsed into the Bristol Channel during storms in 2016 and is earmarked for demolition.

North Somerset Council said a repairs notice served on Monday advised owners CNM Estates work must take place.

The 152-year-old pier shut in 1994 over safety concerns.

Image caption Comedian John Cleese who was born in Weston and actor Timothy West, a patron of the National Piers Society, are supporting the campaign to save the pier

Comedian John Cleese, who was born in Weston, and actor Timothy West who is patron of the National Piers Society along with his wife Prunella Scales, have backed a campaign to save the pier.

It is the only pier in Britain to lead to an island.

Historic England, which has recorded the pier's condition as "very bad", said a repairs notice is considered in cases "where protracted failure by an owner to keep a listed building in reasonable care places the building at risk".

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."

A spokesperson for The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust said: "It is great news to finally see such a positive action that will help to protect the future of Birnbeck".

If CNM Estates fails to respond to the notice within two months, the council will then agree a further course of action.

Wahid Sahmedy, from the firm, said: "We only received this notice yesterday and have sent it to our advisors and will examine it, and make a comment in due course."

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