DAMAGE caused by winter storms has prevented boats from berthing at Bournemouth Pier.

Bournemouth council was forced to close the pier landing stages on the west side of the pier last year.

Following further damage this winter to the east side, the council has requested an engineer's assessment to understand the required cost of repairs.

A Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to the authority from a resident, asked why boats, including paddle steamer Waverley, had been prevented from using the landing stages, contrary to reports from 2015 in the Daily Echo when council leader John Beesley said the authority was “committed to providing and maintaining the landing stage on Bournemouth Pier”.

In response to the FOI request, a statement from Bournemouth Borough Council says: "The Council has every intention of keeping the pier landing stages open and managed to do so fully until last spring (2017).

"At that stage it became evident the stages had been damaged badly by a winter storm and the costs to repair were vastly disproportionate to the benefit received.

"We took the decision to close the west side but did manage to get the east side back open for berthing vessels and the fishing clubs.

"Unfortunately because of the size of the Waverley it requires both sides of the pier to be available for berthing in case of changing tides and winds .

"This winter’s storms have damaged the east side stages once more and we are currently waiting for an engineer's assessment so we can better understand the costs and timetable for getting it to reopen."