BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 15:21 GMT
Battered pier will be restored
Brighton's West Pier
The pier survived further damage overnight
A 30m scheme to renovate Brighton's West Pier will now "move more swiftly" after a large part of the pier collapsed into the sea on Sunday.

A walkway and several supporting struts crashed into the sea leaving a large hole in the derelict pier.

Open in new window : In pictures
Brighton pier collapse

The concert hall was left hanging at a 30 degree angle above the sea.

But the Victorian attraction survived high tide on Sunday evening and a spokesman for Brighton and Hove Council said further serious damage was unlikely.

West Pier, Brighton
The pier has been derelict since 1975

The pier's owner, the West Pier Trust, said it was still determined to go ahead with a renovation plan.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: "Obviously, the pier is enormously precarious and it is difficult to say what will happen next.

"We have been talking to the engineers, English Heritage and the Lottery fund over the weekend.

"The plans will move more swiftly than they had been, judging from the responses I have had."

Nigel Summers, who lives in Brighton, said he hoped the collapse would be a blessing in disguise.

Speaking to BBC News Online from Brighton beach, he said: "It looks like a bit of a mess. From this side it looks like a bouncy castle which has been let down."

Mr Summers said: "They have been talking about doing something for 25 years. Now it's such an eyesore, and all this publicity will surely kick-start getting on with it."

'Unfair competition'

Plans to renovate the Grade I listed pier have been beset by problems.

Last year the owners of Brighton's Palace pier went to the European Commission over the planned restoration.

The Noble Organisation said lottery funding for a largely commercial venture constituted "unfair competition".

Although the Commission ruled against Noble, the company intends to appeal against the decision in the European Courts of Justice.

The West Pier was built in 1866 but has been closed since 1975 because of damage caused by slow erosion.

Mr Summers said: "Apparently the bit which collapsed could not have been renovated anyway, it would have to have been completely rebuilt."

He said he hoped the developers could follow the example of the nearby Palace Pier, which was brought back into use and has become a major commercial success.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's John Young
"It did survive the night"

Click here for more from Southern Counties
See also:

29 Dec 02 | England
31 May 00 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes