We are extremely excited to announce that Ardent have been instructed by North Somerset Council to undertake the Land Referencing, and creation of the CPO Schedule and Order Map for the unique Birnbeck Pier CPO.
Located on the coast of Weston-super-Mare, the site consists of a small island that is accessed from the shore by a historic, Grade II* listed pier structure, which was designed by the noted Victorian Engineer, Eugenius Birch. Only a few of the piers designed by Birch still stand, so the council are eager to regenerate the area.
The island, and some of the adjoining onshore land that is required to access the island contain a variety of additional Grade II listed structures and buildings; these include an historic clock tower, the Toll House Lodge, original entrance gates and turnstiles, and the Lifeboat House. The cultural and historic significance of this project make it one of a kind, and we are excited to be part of the team that is regenerating such a familiar landmark.
The pier is also located in the Severn Estuary and forms an integral part of the estuary coastline. The immense tidal range (the second highest in the world) and classic funnel shape make the estuary unique in Britain and very rare worldwide. The pier is within the estuary SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), European SAC and SPA designations of international importance for wintering and passage wading birds. The pier also forms part of the Severn Estuary Ramsar designated wetland site of international importance (1971 UN RAMSAR Convention).
Due to the special nature of the site, various consents will need to be sought to facilitate the CPO process. The pier and island have been vacant for some years, and are currently found in a dilapidated state; the pier bridge and the buildings/concrete deck on the island are unsafe. As the pier and its surroundings have been the subject of media attention in recent years, any CPO process is likely to be subject to scrutiny by the press.
The Council has already appointed solicitors (Womble Bond Dickinson) and valuers/surveyors (Roger Hannah) as part of the team. We look forward to collaborating with them throughout the CPO process.