North West Wales

Former Colwyn Bay pier owner wins new legal appeal

Colwyn Bay pier
Image caption The grade II listed pier has been closed since 2008

The former owner of Colwyn Bay pier has been given permission to appeal against a judge's decision that it should not be handed back to him.

Steve Hunt was made bankrupt in 2008 but claimed the grade II listed pier should have been returned to him at the end of the bankruptcy period.

But in August a judge ruled it should instead go to Conwy county borough council.

That decision now faces fresh scrutiny after the latest High Court ruling.

In the appeal order, the judge Mr Justice Sales stated that Mr Hunt "has an arguable case fit to be considered on appeal".

The order, issued in the Royal Courts of Justice, concludes: "This is an unusual case which merits consideration in the round and I do not limit the permission to appeal to these points."

Steve Hunt said that he hasn't got a date yet for the appeal to be held. He commented: "There are several complicated, but important, points of law which need to be debated.

"I'm pleased that these can now be re-examined, and I intend to fight the case all the way."

Restoration bids

Colwyn Bay pier opened in 1900, and once hosted artists including Morecambe and Wise, Harry Secombe and Elvis Costello.

But it has been closed since 2008, and its condition has been deteriorating rapidly.

In March, Conwy council signed a deal to buy the pier from the Crown Estate.

A council spokeswoman said: "Since taking ownership of the pier in March, Conwy has been tackling several areas of work to physically secure the structure and, to ensure public safety, has also had to employ a security company to patrol the area.

"We are continuing to develop joint proposals for the restoration and development with our community partners, Colwyn Bay Shore Thing, with a view to submitting an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in the new year.

"As part of this work, we have undertaken investigations in the main pavilion in respect of the remains of the murals by Mary Adshead and Eric Ravilious.

"These have raised a great deal of interest with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Tate Modern, Courtauld Institute and Liverpool University as they are major examples of the work of both artists in bringing art into public spaces in the inter-war period.

"Finding a long term solution for the pier is central to the regeneration of Colwyn Bay promenade, its key location reinforces the link between the promenade and the town centre.

"The promenade and other regeneration projects are progressing well, the pier is hindering the town's progress, but it is listed so the presumption must always be in favour of restoration."

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