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Council plans to demolish pier while locals wait for lottery funding

Conwy Council plans to demolish the majority of the listed Colwyn Bay pier.

Colwyn Bay's Victorian Pier in the 1970s

Conwy Council has submitted plans to demolish the majority of the Grade II listed Colwyn Bay pier. The move comes as Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust waits to see if it will get Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) to restore the pier. The Victorian Society has strongly objected to the demolition and calls on the County Council to throw itself behind the bid for HLF funding.

Victorian Society Conservation Adviser, James Hughes, said: ‘It is very disappointing that Conwy Council plans to demolish this Grade II listed pier without waiting to see whether lottery funding for its restoration is available. Every effort should be made to save a listed building such as the pier before demolition is considered. A restored pier could provide Colwyn Bay with a focus for regeneration - bringing visitors into the town. Conwy County Council should withdraw its application for demolition and throw itself behind the application for HLF funding’.

Colwyn Bay’s Victoria Pier opened in 1900 and was designed by the Manchester architects Mangnall & Littlewood, whose other buildings include Blackpool’s Grade II*-listed Winter Gardens. Its present pavilion dates largely from 1934 and has the last remaining Eric Ravilious mural. The pier was listed in 1975 to reflect both its local and national importance. In December 2013 Conwy Council withdrew from a successful bid for Heritage Lottery funding. The Town Council and the Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust subsequently submitted another HLF bid. The Conwy Council declined to wait to see if this was successful and submitted an application to demolish the majority of the pier, which would see only some of the pier’s upright supports left standing.

The Ancient Monuments Society, The Theatres Trust, and Bay of Colwyn Town Council are among others who have objected to the proposed demolition.

The planning application can be viewed here.

More information on the HLF bid can be found here.

Thursday 2 April, 2015

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