Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Clean-up operation for West Pier gets under way

The skeleton and wreckage of Brighton's West Pier
Fire and storm damage have left the pier nothing but a skeleton

A clean-up operation has started on Brighton's West Pier after it was severely damaged by storms and a fire.

The pier opened in 1866 as a popular holiday attraction, but it partially collapsed in a storm in 2002 and was further damaged in a fire in 2003.

The remains of the Concert Hall will be cleared by specialist demolition and salvage contractors.

The site will be cleared during low tides before the start of warmer weather and the holiday season.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Mary Mears said: "For many, the removal of part of the West Pier will be a sad moment.

"It's part of our history and we've lived with it for a long time, however, time moves on and we welcome the start of work to remove the remains of the old structure."

Seafront prosperity

Historical items will be salvaged by the West Pier Trust and the Pavilion island will not be touched.

The work is a requirement of planning permission for the i360, an observation tower which will stand 150m above sea level and look across Brighton and Hove.

It is hoped the tower will be opened ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Ms Mears said: "We are looking forward to the i360 development bringing a new chapter of prosperity for the seafront."

Brighton's West Pier

Clean-up for Brighton's West Pier

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