Fears over the future of Weymouth pleasure pier

Bournemouth Echo: Work is needed to save the Weymouth pleasure pier Work is needed to save the Weymouth pleasure pier

WEYMOUTH’S Pleasure Pier could become the latest victim of neglect.

Work to fix Weymouth Harbour’s ageing walls may not be enough to save the landmark Pleasure Pier, which could be closed off if its condition worsens.

After decades of neglect, the 81-year-old pier has been found to have significant structural defects and may have to be shut off to the public if it deteriorates further.

The council has been criticised for not investing in maintenance of the harbour.

Huge cracks appeared in the harbour wall last year forcing Condor Ferries to abandon the resort until repairs were carried out.

In its heyday, the pier was a venue for dances, swimming competitions and brass bands.

In more recent years, the elevated cafe became a tourist hotspot but has since closed.

The pier was assessed as safe to use during the Olympics when it became a focal point for visitors – and it remains a point of interest for its views of the bay and as a fishing platform.

It was surveyed along with 4km of harbour walls to help cash-strapped Weymouth and Portland Borough Council draw up a priority list of repair and maintenance works.

The management committee has now approved those works in a compromise that keeps everything safe and serviceable but without spending a fortune.

The dilapidated Pleasure Pier, built by the Great Western Railway to serve the then ferry terminal, will get a patch-up job targeting areas of ‘high safety risk’ to ensure it remains safe – this is favoured over major refurbishment, reconstruction or demolition.

But public access will be kept under close review and the pier could be closed down in less than five years.

This affects the pier structure itself and not the walkway leading up to it where the Sea Life Tower and ferry terminal car park is sited.

A summary report prepared for the council says the pier has a number of significant defects, mainly underneath the deck. Nothing has been done to it over the last few decades and it is now a matter of ‘long-term concern’ due to its poor condition.

The length of time it will be safe to use is difficult to predict but the report says the patch-up job, which will involve £20,000 being set aside in the budget each year, will keep it safe until the main structural elements begin to fail, ‘possibly in less than five years’.

The work to be carried out on the harbour walls and pier is separate to the £3.9 million worth of work on the berth, where it is hoped Condor Ferries will be sailing from later this year.

Council environment and sustainability spokesman Gill Taylor said investigations on the harbour walls and pier were conducted before the damage to the ferry terminal became clear last year, sparking a debate over why the council hadn’t put money into the harbour over the years.

She added: “We’re in the position we’re in with the Pleasure Pier and it’s a shame. To do a proper job on it would cost a lot of money.”

Work to replace all of the harbour walls would cost as much as £45million.

But the council has agreed a programme focussing on priority works targeting mainly steel sheet pile walls, which are worse off than those of concrete construction.

Just over £1million will be put into the budget next year for repairs and a further £3.6million will be ploughed into the harbour walls over the next 15 years for identified works. Investigations are under way for grant funding.

Coun Taylor added: “The work on the harbour walls has to be done before it gets any worse and it costs a lot more.

“The sad thing is we didn’t put additional money into maintenance of the port in the past so we’re getting hit by a large sum of money now. But the harbour is where it is and we’ve now got a solid plan for repairs and ongoing maintenance.”

Priority repairs list presented

AS WELL as backing harbour walls and pier work, the borough council's management committee was also presented with a list of high priority repairs and maintenance that is needed around the rest of Weymouth Harbour.
Harbour Master Peter Mole was asked to produce a list of what needed doing, other than the walls. The works, totalling more than £350,000, will be put forward for consideration as part of ongoing budget proposals for next year.
The list include things like water supply to pontoons, replacing pontoons, replacing steps and demolishing a toilet block on the Pleasure Pier.

What do you think?

What do you think? Should the landmark pier be shut off to the public? Leave your comments below or email newsdesk@dorsetecho.co.uk

Comments (24)

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10:35am Wed 30 Jan 13

Islandjim says...

You'd be hard pushed to find anything pleasurable at the end of this pier, unfortunately lack of foresight has rendered this "attraction" a pointless and expensive wreck and money would be better spend elsewhere....how about the 4 year old craters in the road in Fortuneswell which were neglected last year because they weren't on an Olympic route!
You'd be hard pushed to find anything pleasurable at the end of this pier, unfortunately lack of foresight has rendered this "attraction" a pointless and expensive wreck and money would be better spend elsewhere....how about the 4 year old craters in the road in Fortuneswell which were neglected last year because they weren't on an Olympic route! Islandjim
  • Score: 0

10:39am Wed 30 Jan 13

UpweyGardener says...

The Council are leaving the town to ruin.

The Harbour Wall debacle, the Pavilion closure, the death of Weymouth town centre, and, now, the prospect of no more pleasure pier.

They'll be selling off the sand to cover the shortfall, no doubt.

The Tories can't be trusted with anything.
The Council are leaving the town to ruin. The Harbour Wall debacle, the Pavilion closure, the death of Weymouth town centre, and, now, the prospect of no more pleasure pier. They'll be selling off the sand to cover the shortfall, no doubt. The Tories can't be trusted with anything. UpweyGardener
  • Score: 0

10:42am Wed 30 Jan 13

Isosceles says...

It seems about time that the 'ruin' of the organisation, both councillors and officers, that resides in North Quay was closed down due to years of neglect of any forward thinking.
It seems about time that the 'ruin' of the organisation, both councillors and officers, that resides in North Quay was closed down due to years of neglect of any forward thinking. Isosceles
  • Score: 0

11:03am Wed 30 Jan 13

Dave Aitch says...

Demolish and start again. This place could be made in to a real yachties paradise, with the right investment.
Lots of wealthy yacht & boat owners spending a few bob in the area. It would be another tick in the box for keeping our MCA SAR, too
Shame the hierarchy don't read these comments.
Demolish and start again. This place could be made in to a real yachties paradise, with the right investment. Lots of wealthy yacht & boat owners spending a few bob in the area. It would be another tick in the box for keeping our MCA SAR, too Shame the hierarchy don't read these comments. Dave Aitch
  • Score: 0

11:30am Wed 30 Jan 13

Artstudent says...

This site could bring in a large income for the area if used appropriately.
Why not create a modern pleasure pier consisting of a gallows and rack area where errant councillors and Littlemoor residents could be disposed of.
I'd pay to see that.
This site could bring in a large income for the area if used appropriately. Why not create a modern pleasure pier consisting of a gallows and rack area where errant councillors and Littlemoor residents could be disposed of. I'd pay to see that. Artstudent
  • Score: 1

11:34am Wed 30 Jan 13

rhys6669 says...

It is a pity that its gone that way and it is memory for me and seeing it is an eye saw and hopefully it will be fixed because of tourism in weymouth should boost the lifestyle here.

I am hoping that it can be fixed and the funds to see it at its rises again
It is a pity that its gone that way and it is memory for me and seeing it is an eye saw and hopefully it will be fixed because of tourism in weymouth should boost the lifestyle here. I am hoping that it can be fixed and the funds to see it at its rises again rhys6669
  • Score: 0

11:44am Wed 30 Jan 13

paulst says...

Had a walk round there over the summer, its such a mess. Massive shame as is could be so nice. Weymouth council does seem to have its head in the sand. Huge investment is going into Dorchester, but Weymouth with its abundance of natural resources, which could easily make it one of the best resorts in the country, seems to be allowed to rot with no investment. Harbour falling apart, pleasure pier is a mess, town centre dying & brewers quay building is derelict. I'm sure a council with a modicum of commercial acumen could have found a decent hotel or leisure operator to take on Brewers Quay. Its such a prime site & Weymouth is crying out for a decent hotel. The only investment going on in Weymouth, is the building of a Sainsbury's next door to Morrison's.
They should be taking their lead from places from like St Ives who seem to attract affluent holiday makers all year round
Had a walk round there over the summer, its such a mess. Massive shame as is could be so nice. Weymouth council does seem to have its head in the sand. Huge investment is going into Dorchester, but Weymouth with its abundance of natural resources, which could easily make it one of the best resorts in the country, seems to be allowed to rot with no investment. Harbour falling apart, pleasure pier is a mess, town centre dying & brewers quay building is derelict. I'm sure a council with a modicum of commercial acumen could have found a decent hotel or leisure operator to take on Brewers Quay. Its such a prime site & Weymouth is crying out for a decent hotel. The only investment going on in Weymouth, is the building of a Sainsbury's next door to Morrison's. They should be taking their lead from places from like St Ives who seem to attract affluent holiday makers all year round paulst
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Sidney Hall says...

Yeah but St Ives has the Tate. We have Ali Gardens Amusements.
Build a new pier. A longer one made of stone. Dont call it the stone pier though, that name is already in use. Make it really long, then bring an arm round towards Bowleaze. That would make a great marina, great for angling, and provide a nice walk away from the bucket n spade lot with their brummie accents.
Yeah but St Ives has the Tate. We have Ali Gardens Amusements. Build a new pier. A longer one made of stone. Dont call it the stone pier though, that name is already in use. Make it really long, then bring an arm round towards Bowleaze. That would make a great marina, great for angling, and provide a nice walk away from the bucket n spade lot with their brummie accents. Sidney Hall
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Wed 30 Jan 13

212 dorset says...

Another smambolic unforgivable lack of decision making by the Council. The building has been left to Rot away and has had years of neglect causing it now to be worthless and literally beyond repair. Not to worry , no one will be held responsible for this and everything will be swept under the carpet.
Another smambolic unforgivable lack of decision making by the Council. The building has been left to Rot away and has had years of neglect causing it now to be worthless and literally beyond repair. Not to worry , no one will be held responsible for this and everything will be swept under the carpet. 212 dorset
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Simon Nicholas says...

Brewers Quay is not derelict, its merely mothballed. The original business plan of the current owners (which included a hotel, a larger musuem, apartments and many other things) is in tatters due to the recession.

Private developers simply cannot currently lay their hands on money, and when they do, the repayment costs are prohibitive. Allied to this is that they have to have a significant number of tenants signed up before they can start redevelopment, and this is very difficult in the current climate.

In hindsight, the current owners could have kept it open until the redevlopment was ready to begin, but its just not in a good enough condition - the roof is in a dreadful state, and major leaks into the units on the first floor were not uncommon.

Can`t blaim the council for this, just the sucession of private sector pub companies that owned the complex over the years!

I do share the concerns over the lack of maintenance at the pleasure pier over the years - there does seem to have been a breakdown in responsiblity over many years.

The Cactus Tea Rooms is much missed as well.

Simon N.
Brewers Quay is not derelict, its merely mothballed. The original business plan of the current owners (which included a hotel, a larger musuem, apartments and many other things) is in tatters due to the recession. Private developers simply cannot currently lay their hands on money, and when they do, the repayment costs are prohibitive. Allied to this is that they have to have a significant number of tenants signed up before they can start redevelopment, and this is very difficult in the current climate. In hindsight, the current owners could have kept it open until the redevlopment was ready to begin, but its just not in a good enough condition - the roof is in a dreadful state, and major leaks into the units on the first floor were not uncommon. Can`t blaim the council for this, just the sucession of private sector pub companies that owned the complex over the years! I do share the concerns over the lack of maintenance at the pleasure pier over the years - there does seem to have been a breakdown in responsiblity over many years. The Cactus Tea Rooms is much missed as well. Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Wed 30 Jan 13

pretep says...

I suppose the Council wants to move the deckchairs to the 'magic mushroom sculpture' and for all the holidaymakers admire the view from there instead!!!
I suppose the Council wants to move the deckchairs to the 'magic mushroom sculpture' and for all the holidaymakers admire the view from there instead!!! pretep
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Wed 30 Jan 13

wessex-andy says...

From the comments above it would seem that our Councillors are to blame, along with the Conservatives, Littlemoor residents and people with Brummie accents.

Typecasting people is not constructive, although I do feel that party politics (and in that I include all parties) does seem to interfere with the way our town is managed. Perhaps a bit of co-operation within our council, regardless of which party has put the person there would not go amiss.
From the comments above it would seem that our Councillors are to blame, along with the Conservatives, Littlemoor residents and people with Brummie accents. Typecasting people is not constructive, although I do feel that party politics (and in that I include all parties) does seem to interfere with the way our town is managed. Perhaps a bit of co-operation within our council, regardless of which party has put the person there would not go amiss. wessex-andy
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Presto bite says...

Artstudent wrote:
This site could bring in a large income for the area if used appropriately.
Why not create a modern pleasure pier consisting of a gallows and rack area where errant councillors and Littlemoor residents could be disposed of.
I'd pay to see that.
Me 2
[quote][p][bold]Artstudent[/bold] wrote: This site could bring in a large income for the area if used appropriately. Why not create a modern pleasure pier consisting of a gallows and rack area where errant councillors and Littlemoor residents could be disposed of. I'd pay to see that.[/p][/quote]Me 2 Presto bite
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Presto bite says...

Could make it a car park. Oh no, we are already having one of those! Anyway, soon there'll be nothing worth coming here for so we won't need a car park. Social housing? Now there's another idea
Could make it a car park. Oh no, we are already having one of those! Anyway, soon there'll be nothing worth coming here for so we won't need a car park. Social housing? Now there's another idea Presto bite
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Wed 30 Jan 13

bedpans says...

Once agai our friend Mr Northcote in Property Services must harbour some blame. When are the Council going to undertake an independant inquiry into how rhis man and his department has led to the ruination of most of Weymouth. Will anyone support my request to the council for such an inquiry.
Once agai our friend Mr Northcote in Property Services must harbour some blame. When are the Council going to undertake an independant inquiry into how rhis man and his department has led to the ruination of most of Weymouth. Will anyone support my request to the council for such an inquiry. bedpans
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Grandmaster flash says...

The local council should be ashamed,they kicked out a great tenant who ran the cactus tea rooms to perfection.not a penny of the rent the council were paid,was ever used on the upkeep of the pier!Council greed is costing the town a fortune!
The local council should be ashamed,they kicked out a great tenant who ran the cactus tea rooms to perfection.not a penny of the rent the council were paid,was ever used on the upkeep of the pier!Council greed is costing the town a fortune! Grandmaster flash
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Wed 30 Jan 13

VaguelyPurple says...

Simon Nicholas wrote:
Brewers Quay is not derelict, its merely mothballed. The original business plan of the current owners (which included a hotel, a larger musuem, apartments and many other things) is in tatters due to the recession.

Private developers simply cannot currently lay their hands on money, and when they do, the repayment costs are prohibitive. Allied to this is that they have to have a significant number of tenants signed up before they can start redevelopment, and this is very difficult in the current climate.

In hindsight, the current owners could have kept it open until the redevlopment was ready to begin, but its just not in a good enough condition - the roof is in a dreadful state, and major leaks into the units on the first floor were not uncommon.

Can`t blaim the council for this, just the sucession of private sector pub companies that owned the complex over the years!

I do share the concerns over the lack of maintenance at the pleasure pier over the years - there does seem to have been a breakdown in responsiblity over many years.

The Cactus Tea Rooms is much missed as well.

Simon N.
"Brewers Quay is not derelict, merely mothballed"? Then why the hell didn't the idiot Council either make sure that the firm of cowboy developers had the wherewithal to do what they'd promised, or made sure to put in a clause that they could buy it back if the cowboy developers turned out, indeed, to be cowboys. Funny how the idiot council can never be blamed for anything, isn't it, it's always someone else (i.e. usually the Private sector)'s fault. So the Harbour fiasco is not the fault of the idiot Council eiether, then, is it? Or moving the Tourist Information Centre miles out of the way to the pavilion, and then deciding that the Pavilion will have to close too? What exactly has the Idiot council done within living memory that has been anything other than a total fiasco?
[quote][p][bold]Simon Nicholas[/bold] wrote: Brewers Quay is not derelict, its merely mothballed. The original business plan of the current owners (which included a hotel, a larger musuem, apartments and many other things) is in tatters due to the recession. Private developers simply cannot currently lay their hands on money, and when they do, the repayment costs are prohibitive. Allied to this is that they have to have a significant number of tenants signed up before they can start redevelopment, and this is very difficult in the current climate. In hindsight, the current owners could have kept it open until the redevlopment was ready to begin, but its just not in a good enough condition - the roof is in a dreadful state, and major leaks into the units on the first floor were not uncommon. Can`t blaim the council for this, just the sucession of private sector pub companies that owned the complex over the years! I do share the concerns over the lack of maintenance at the pleasure pier over the years - there does seem to have been a breakdown in responsiblity over many years. The Cactus Tea Rooms is much missed as well. Simon N.[/p][/quote]"Brewers Quay is not derelict, merely mothballed"? Then why the hell didn't the idiot Council either make sure that the firm of cowboy developers had the wherewithal to do what they'd promised, or made sure to put in a clause that they could buy it back if the cowboy developers turned out, indeed, to be cowboys. Funny how the idiot council can never be blamed for anything, isn't it, it's always someone else (i.e. usually the Private sector)'s fault. So the Harbour fiasco is not the fault of the idiot Council eiether, then, is it? Or moving the Tourist Information Centre miles out of the way to the pavilion, and then deciding that the Pavilion will have to close too? What exactly has the Idiot council done within living memory that has been anything other than a total fiasco? VaguelyPurple
  • Score: 0

8:48am Thu 31 Jan 13

Simon Nicholas says...

VaguelyPurple wrote:
Simon Nicholas wrote: Brewers Quay is not derelict, its merely mothballed. The original business plan of the current owners (which included a hotel, a larger musuem, apartments and many other things) is in tatters due to the recession. Private developers simply cannot currently lay their hands on money, and when they do, the repayment costs are prohibitive. Allied to this is that they have to have a significant number of tenants signed up before they can start redevelopment, and this is very difficult in the current climate. In hindsight, the current owners could have kept it open until the redevlopment was ready to begin, but its just not in a good enough condition - the roof is in a dreadful state, and major leaks into the units on the first floor were not uncommon. Can`t blaim the council for this, just the sucession of private sector pub companies that owned the complex over the years! I do share the concerns over the lack of maintenance at the pleasure pier over the years - there does seem to have been a breakdown in responsiblity over many years. The Cactus Tea Rooms is much missed as well. Simon N.
"Brewers Quay is not derelict, merely mothballed"? Then why the hell didn't the idiot Council either make sure that the firm of cowboy developers had the wherewithal to do what they'd promised, or made sure to put in a clause that they could buy it back if the cowboy developers turned out, indeed, to be cowboys. Funny how the idiot council can never be blamed for anything, isn't it, it's always someone else (i.e. usually the Private sector)'s fault. So the Harbour fiasco is not the fault of the idiot Council eiether, then, is it? Or moving the Tourist Information Centre miles out of the way to the pavilion, and then deciding that the Pavilion will have to close too? What exactly has the Idiot council done within living memory that has been anything other than a total fiasco?
I don`t think the local authority had any right to include clauses in anything as they had no ownership on Brewers Quay. The Current owners (Brewers Quay LLP) acquired it from the pub company, Greene King. There has been no council involvement in Brewers Quay since the early 1990s. Even if the council were offered it now, where would the money come from to buy it AND pay for the redevelopement. Remember, this is the same council that can no longer afford to run a theatre!

All the council did was grant planning permission to Brewers Quay LLP for their development - at the time, the project was due for completion before the Olympics - unfortunately, nobody at the time realised what the long term effects of the banking crisis would be.

Brewers Quay WILL eventually be redeveloped, but it will take a lot longer than anticipated, and to a different business plan.

Simon N.
[quote][p][bold]VaguelyPurple[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Simon Nicholas[/bold] wrote: Brewers Quay is not derelict, its merely mothballed. The original business plan of the current owners (which included a hotel, a larger musuem, apartments and many other things) is in tatters due to the recession. Private developers simply cannot currently lay their hands on money, and when they do, the repayment costs are prohibitive. Allied to this is that they have to have a significant number of tenants signed up before they can start redevelopment, and this is very difficult in the current climate. In hindsight, the current owners could have kept it open until the redevlopment was ready to begin, but its just not in a good enough condition - the roof is in a dreadful state, and major leaks into the units on the first floor were not uncommon. Can`t blaim the council for this, just the sucession of private sector pub companies that owned the complex over the years! I do share the concerns over the lack of maintenance at the pleasure pier over the years - there does seem to have been a breakdown in responsiblity over many years. The Cactus Tea Rooms is much missed as well. Simon N.[/p][/quote]"Brewers Quay is not derelict, merely mothballed"? Then why the hell didn't the idiot Council either make sure that the firm of cowboy developers had the wherewithal to do what they'd promised, or made sure to put in a clause that they could buy it back if the cowboy developers turned out, indeed, to be cowboys. Funny how the idiot council can never be blamed for anything, isn't it, it's always someone else (i.e. usually the Private sector)'s fault. So the Harbour fiasco is not the fault of the idiot Council eiether, then, is it? Or moving the Tourist Information Centre miles out of the way to the pavilion, and then deciding that the Pavilion will have to close too? What exactly has the Idiot council done within living memory that has been anything other than a total fiasco?[/p][/quote]I don`t think the local authority had any right to include clauses in anything as they had no ownership on Brewers Quay. The Current owners (Brewers Quay LLP) acquired it from the pub company, Greene King. There has been no council involvement in Brewers Quay since the early 1990s. Even if the council were offered it now, where would the money come from to buy it AND pay for the redevelopement. Remember, this is the same council that can no longer afford to run a theatre! All the council did was grant planning permission to Brewers Quay LLP for their development - at the time, the project was due for completion before the Olympics - unfortunately, nobody at the time realised what the long term effects of the banking crisis would be. Brewers Quay WILL eventually be redeveloped, but it will take a lot longer than anticipated, and to a different business plan. Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 0

10:45am Thu 31 Jan 13

bigfatlad says...

Reduce it to rubble at the same time as the Pavillion ... take what is left of the Pier down too - let's have uninterrupted views of the Jurassic Coast and less money wasted on ageing eyesores.
Reduce it to rubble at the same time as the Pavillion ... take what is left of the Pier down too - let's have uninterrupted views of the Jurassic Coast and less money wasted on ageing eyesores. bigfatlad
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Kaptain_Von says...

Coming soon: Let's knock down the Nothe, build a Lidl on Greenhill gardens and tarmac the beach...then wonder where the tourist revenue has gone.
Coming soon: Let's knock down the Nothe, build a Lidl on Greenhill gardens and tarmac the beach...then wonder where the tourist revenue has gone. Kaptain_Von
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Thu 31 Jan 13

-Wingl- says...

To answer the question: Yes. (Otherwise caravans maybe put on it)But then what?
To answer the question: Yes. (Otherwise caravans maybe put on it)But then what? -Wingl-
  • Score: 0

8:50pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Get a grip says...

Why is it that when ever we here about council property, the same story is repeated.

1) Lack of maintenance.

2) Poorly managed.

3) No one to blame.
Why is it that when ever we here about council property, the same story is repeated. 1) Lack of maintenance. 2) Poorly managed. 3) No one to blame. Get a grip
  • Score: 0

10:45am Mon 4 Feb 13

knickerlessparsons says...

Where has all the money gone that the Council made during the Olympics?

Wasn't there an article printed by the Echo recently that highlighted the HUGE profits made by the Borough Council just from parking charges alone?
Where has all the money gone that the Council made during the Olympics? Wasn't there an article printed by the Echo recently that highlighted the HUGE profits made by the Borough Council just from parking charges alone? knickerlessparsons
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Throckape says...

Get a grip wrote:
Why is it that when ever we here about council property, the same story is repeated. 1) Lack of maintenance. 2) Poorly managed. 3) No one to blame.
4) Wonder where the massive rates hikes have gone each year?
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: Why is it that when ever we here about council property, the same story is repeated. 1) Lack of maintenance. 2) Poorly managed. 3) No one to blame.[/p][/quote]4) Wonder where the massive rates hikes have gone each year? Throckape
  • Score: 0
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