North West Wales

Colwyn Bay Pier ownership legal challenge fails

Colwyn Bay pier

A businessman has failed in a high court bid to regain ownership of a derelict Colwyn Bay pier.

Judge Mr Justice Morgan said the Grade II-listed pier was unsafe, in danger of collapsing and that Steven Hunt was in no financial position to restore it.

Mr Hunt said he would try to win an appeal against the decision.

Last week, the Welsh government rejected a bid by Conwy council to demolish the pier which has been at the centre of a long-running dispute.

Mr Hunt, who ran the pier until he was made bankrupt in 2008, said it should have come back to him after three years.

He argued that he had lived on the pier in a "dwelling house" within one of the buildings, even after he was made bankrupt.

'Might collapse'

In today's judgement, Mr Justice Morgan said that one of the reasons Mr Hunt should not be given a "vesting order" to confirm his ownership of the pier was because of the poor state of the structure.

The judgement said: "The present position is that the pier is unsafe, is a serious risk to public safety and might collapse at any moment."

Conwy council had argued that the pier was transferred to the Crown Estate in 2011, at the end of the period after Mr Hunt was made bankrupt.

The council signed a deal to buy the pier in 2012 and has since applied for permission to demolish it.

Mr Hunt said he believed that the pier could still be restored.

Conwy council said in a statement: "We are delighted that the judge has ruled that the former owner has no further legal interest in the pier."

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