North Somerset Council has confirmed it will serve Birnbeck Pier owner CNM Estates a repairs notice, demanding the developer restore the dilapidated pier “to the condition it was in the early 1980s.”
It’s an interesting challenge considering a large percentage of the locals were probably not even alive in the pre-Human League, Don’t You Want Me Baby era, but that’s probably not so relevant to the various bodies calling on this demand. The pier is dilapidated and the music seemed to stop immediately after the council relinquished its responsibilities to the commercial enterprise of CNM.
Thanks to this stroke of luck – a two year lapse between the pier collapsing and changing hands – the council is now able to crack the whip.
Acting in conjunction with Historic England, the authority told the Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury it will “imminently” issue the order to CNM chairman Wahid Samady.
“A repairs notice is a swift and effective tool for alerting a proprietor of their statutory duties to repair and maintain the property they own,” said a council spokesperson.
CNM, which bought the Grade II listed pier two years before the north jetty collapsed into the Bristol Channel in 2016, challenged the accusation it is guilty of “protracted failure” to maintain the 152-year-old structure. “With each architect CNM has engaged with North Somerset Council setting out the simple arithmetic parameters within which development is necessary in order to fund and progress the intended pier restoration, without any viable conclusion.”