Birnbeck Pier sold to new company set up by CNM Estates

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Image source, Rob Farrow/Geograph
Image caption,
The Victorian pier connects to Birnbeck Island where the lifeboat station was based

A historic pier which has fallen into disrepair has been sold to a new company led by the director of its previous owner.

Birnbeck Holdings Ltd, a new company owned by Wahid Samady, of CNM Estates, has purchased Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare.

The sale was made after a High Court deadline to sell by 22 January 2021 after a loan dispute.

CNM Estates said it would now begin repair works "without the hindrance of historical litigation".

The sale is the latest turn in a long-running saga over the fate of the pier, which has been closed to the public since 1994 over safety concerns.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "Although there has been a notional transfer of ownership of Birnbeck Pier, the director is the same person who has owned the historic structure for over a decade.

"We remain deeply concerned that the pier has been neglected to such an extent that Historic England has put Birnbeck at the top of the National Buildings at Risk Register."

'Disappointed'

Simon Talbot-Ponsonby, from the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, said he was "disappointed" by the development.

He said: "We will be interested to hear who the new backers of the scheme are and what their plans are to save the pier and help bring it back into public use for the benefit of the people of Weston-super-Mare."

The RNLI says it was supporting the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and hopes to return to the lifeboat station where it was based for 131 years, before leaving in 2013.

"At the moment, the CPO process is the most credible option to secure access and ensure the RNLI can provide the safest, most effective lifesaving service for Weston," a spokesperson said.

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