Haverstock, a North Somerset Council-appointed architect practice, has submitted a planning application for the first phase of the Birnbeck Pier restoration project in the UK. 

The application has been filed on behalf of the council. 

If the proposal is sanctioned, work on the landside buildings is expected to commence later this year, to reopen to the public by next year. 

This would facilitate subsequent stages of the project.  

These include the restoration of the pier and the re-establishment of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) lifeboat station on Birnbeck Island. 

The proposal also includes the restoration of the Pier Master’s Cottage and the reinstatement of its bell tower, along with an extension to the north to accommodate a year-round public café.  

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Additional visitor amenities such as toilets are also part of the plan.  

It involves repairs to weatherproof the adjacent landside buildings, known as Pier View, the old shell shop, and the South Toll House.  

Haverstock partner Tom Gibb said: “We’re excited to submit a planning and listed building consent application, the first step to reinstating the pier site as a publicly accessible attraction and unique heritage experience. 

“This first application aims to arrest decay and save significant historic fabric on both the landward and island sites. The application includes reopening and extending the Pier Master’s Cottage as a space for the public to view subsequent phases of repair and regeneration.” 

Furthermore, it includes the stabilisation of buildings on Birnbeck Island, including the Pavilion, the 1888 Boathouse, and the Clocktower. 

Underground work covers water and sewage pumps and the installation of a new, fit-for-purpose electricity substation to serve the landside buildings, the island, and the pier itself. 

Funding for this segment of the restoration and renovation work comes from a £4.47m ($5.5m) allocation from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.  

The entire refurbishment of the Birnbeck Pier and Island has received funding from various sources. 

These include the RNLI, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Historic England, among others.  

North Somerset Council councillor Mark Canniford said: “It’s encouraging to see these proposals submitted for planning approval. Momentum is really building now and we’re edging ever closer to starting work on site later this year.”