Friday, 24 July 2009

Colwyn Bay Pier 'is dangerous'

From the Daily Post, July 24, 2009:
Link to Article

Colwyn Bay Pier 'is dangerous'

A DERELICT pier is a danger to those who use the beach below warns the man who has dedicated the last six of seven years trying to restore the Victorian structure.

A year after being declared bankrupt, Steve Hunt, the former owner of Colwyn Bay’s Victoria Pier says tons of unstable steelwork could collapse at any time and crush anyone walking underneath.

The pier has stood untouched for 12 months.

It is currently being managed by a Manchester-based creditor, who Steve says need to keep up with the general maintenance or face a possible tragedy.

“The worry is, you can see the rot there, these big heavy railings, if one of those was to fall off it doesn’t bare thinking about what could happen,” said Steve.

“These are the jobs we tended to but are not being done. Although technically speaking it is not my problem, it is still a worry to me. I don’t want to see anybody hurt or the pier falling down.”

Steve still lives in a flat on the structure despite the pier now being the responsibility of trustees, Royce Peeling Green (RPG). The company are managing the site after he was declared bankrupt in July 2008. There is an ongoing legal dispute relating to business rates between Conwy County Council and Steve who is seeking to have the bankruptcy annulled.

Leaks in the roof are causing havoc with the building’s interior, while the decking is rotting.

Before the pier closed last summer the pier had four shops operating and a newly refurbished bar.

Steve fears that if another year goes by without RPG stepping in to maintain the pier it could be ruined the elements, causing Colwyn Bay to lose one of its most important landmarks.

Already Steve says the damage sustained in the last 12 months from rot, damp and leaks runs into tens of thousands of pounds.

“It is falling to bits, the pier has stood for a year with zero maintenance. If there is a hole in the roof, if there is a board with a hole which needs replacing, all these jobs are not being done,” he said.

“Technically RPG, they are the legal owners, it is a grade two listed building and they have a duty to look after it. They are neglecting their duty.”

A spokesman for Royce Peeling Green declined to comment.

My view.....

Steve Hunt is certainly correct, certain parts of the pier do require immediate attention. In several areas, the wooden supports of the cast iron balustrade have rotted away, leaving the the balsutrade hanging in mid air:

Although it's a sturdy structure (even in decay), there is definitely a real danger that a collapse could occur at some point. I hope that Royce Peeling Green (currently managing the pier as trustees in bankruptcy) will take the necessary action quickly to secure the structure. In addition, the long-term future of the pier needs to be decided urgently or demolition may be the only option. Given the costs of demolition could be in the region of £2m, doesn't it make a lot more sense to spend that sort of money on renovating the pier, creating attractions for visitors and jobs for local people?


karen boswell said...

My Mum lives just a few yards away from this Pier and is absolutely devasted at its condition. I used to come here all the time as a child, but unfortunately we cannot bring the grand-children here as it is now unsafe. Sorry but Steve Hunt is right something needs to be done now, have you ever thought what would happen should the pier fall on some-one? I'm sure that would cost far more than it would to renovate. So to a disappointed regular user of the pier this deeply upsets me, please renovate it very soon.

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