top of page
  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

High Court issues deadline for sale of Birnbeck Pier

Birnbeck Pier Image: Jon Kent

The owners of the eyesore pier, CNM Estates have been issued with a deadline of 22nd January 2021 by the High Court to find a buyer. If the owners fail to do so then the likelihood increases of RNLI purchasing it for £350,000.

Birnbeck Pier was home to a RNLI Lifeboat station from 1882 until 2013, when the pier which connects the island to the mainland became too unsafe to use. It is viewed as a top priority on Historic England's Heritage At Risk national register.

The preliminary hearing which was heard at London Circuit Commercial Court was initiated by Brian Sullivan against CNM Estates, who own the pier, as a result of a loan agreement in September 2014. At that time CNM Estates was loaned £1m by Mr Sullivan to use to invest in the pier, but Mr Sullivan alleges that the terms of the loan required the money should have been paid back 12 months later and is suing the company over their failure to repay the amount, alongside seeking a further £1m in interest.

Presiding Judge, Mark Pelling QC instructed that a preliminary trial will take place on the 5th March over the loan, before a further trial regarding contractual issues occurs later in the year.

If a buyer is not found for one of the towns most iconic locations, it could be sold to the RNLI which is is the preferred option of Mr Sullivan. It is estimated it would cost around £13m to restore the pier.

Cllr Mark Canniford said "“The finding by the High Court is very welcome and puts us another step closer to sorting this decades old problem out. It does seem a drawn out procedure, but everything must be done properly and by the laws that govern this land. I really hope that it won’t be long before the RNLI are taking this beautiful site under their control “

North Somerset Council is continuing with a Compulsory Purchase Order for the pier, a move that is also being challenged by CNM Estates.



Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page