The Society urges the Council to work with the pier’s owner and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust to quickly establish a planning brief for development before it is too late
The Victorian Society today reveals that Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare is one of 2015’s Top Ten Most Endangered Victorian and Edwardian Buildings in England and Wales. The Society urges the Council to work with the pier’s owner and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust to quickly establish a planning brief for development before it is too late.
Inclusion in the Society's Top Ten often leads to national exposure and new interest in the buildings selected which can help save them. Griff Rhys Jones, Victorian Society Vice President, launching the Top Ten, said "These are buildings that need help, and we need your help."
Designed by the leading Victorian pier designer, Eugenius Birch, Birnbeck Pier is Britain’s only pier leading to an island. The pier was damaged by a mine during the war while used by the Admiralty as 'HMS Birnbeck'. After years of neglect the Pier closed in 1994 and successive owners’ restoration plans have come to nothing. Even the RNLI’s lifeboat station closed after 131 years as the pier had become too dangerous. The Pier’s new owner, CNM Estates, says it is committed to fixing the pier and is working with the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. However, storms earlier this year have left one walkway on the verge of collapse. North Somerset Council must now help all parties to quickly establish a planning brief for development to secure the pier’s future.
Director of the Victorian Society, Christopher Costelloe, said: ‘We're grateful to everyone who nominated Birnbeck Pier. Like all the buildings included in this year's Top Ten, the Pier is a listed building meaning that the Government has recognised its national importance. Birnbeck is one of a kind and deserves better than simply falling into the sea. I urge the public to share the Top Ten list, and Griff’s message, to help raise awareness of these buildings and help them to find the investment they desperately need.’
Pictures of Birnbeck Pier can be found here.
Details of the work of the regeneration Trust are here www.birnbeckregenerationtrust.org.uk
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