Weston-super-Mare's landmark Birnbeck Pier's future to feature during talks

It was once enjoyed by a generation of West Midlanders – and now the future of a derelict pier in Weston-super-Mare may finally be determined.

Birnbeck Pier which has been left to decay
Birnbeck Pier which has been left to decay

An ‘independent’ company will now decide what should happen to the resort's burnt-out Royal Pier Hotel site after years of inaction by its owner – and may also have a say in Birnbeck Pier’s future.

CNM Estates, run by Wahid Samady, owns both the deteriorating pier and Royal Pier Hotel.

The bank which loaned £2million for the hotel site is now trying to recoup its money as CNM’s plans to build luxury apartments, bars and restaurants there have not come to fruition.

The hotel was destroyed by fire in 2010, and North Somerset Council paid £103,000 to demolish the unsafe structure – money which has never been repaid by Mr Samady.

Birnbeck Pier was built in the 1880s and attracted thousands, initially brought on steam boats from South Wales and later hoards of holidaymakers from the West Midlands who made Weston their resort of choice.

It fell into disrepair and is now sealed off because it is so dilapidated. Weston's Grand Pier, which is more central to the town, was itself rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2008.

Mr Samady has confirmed =that the council will now have to resolve the debt with a third party company, which will decide what should happen to the Royal Pier Hotel site – and will also assess the future of Birnbeck Pier.

He said: “After 11 years of owning the Royal Pier Hotel and at a very significant cost it appears we have failed to find a solution that would lead to its delivery.

“Obviously all parties are very frustrated, including our bank. And I am sure other stakeholders are just as frustrated too.”

Mr Samady said his firm still owns the land and he has invested close to £4million into it.

A planning application in 2011 for luxury apartments, bars and restaurants was approved, but the final agreements were never signed, meaning building consent was ultimately never issued.

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