Redevelopment plans approved
The owners of the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, south west England, have had plans approved for a new pavilion to replace the one destroyed by fire last July. The application was passed by North Somerset Council on March 12 and clears the way for a number of new structures, including an 85-metre panorama/observation tower. Work is expected to be commence very soon, in anticipation of a summer 2010 opening.
The new pavilion (see rendering above) will be approximately 60% larger than the one lost in the fire, which housed the pier’s rides, games machines and attractions across the first two floors and a conference facility and offices on the third.
Owners Kerry and Michelle Michael are keen to ensure the new pier provides a world class visitor attraction for Weston-super-Mare while reflecting the tradition of a Victorian seafront pier, and appointed architects Angus Meek to produce the new design.
The plans show a white building that echoes its predecessor on bright sunny summer days while incorporating specialist lighting effects (see below) for the evening and winter months. There will also be illumination under the pier itself so that the structure becomes a stunning backdrop for holidaymakers enjoying the resort’s facilities in the evening.
A canopy will provide a weatherproof connection from the shore to the Pavilion, where the rides will be incorporated on the roof. The aforementioned observation tower will be located at the sea end of the pier and enable visitors to get a panoramic view of the whole Severn estuary. The four towers at each corner of the pavilion will feature low voltage LED lighting to provide a thrilling light show. The central canopy will include a surf board ride that will take up to 20 people at a time on a fun ride along the roof. Other rides being considered include a twin-chute helter skelter slide in the north west tower, a Sidewinder swinging pendulum ride and an electric go-kart track to replace the track destroyed by fire less than a year after it opened.
A 250-seater conference and banqueting facility is also promised, together with an Edwardian tea room at the end of the pier, doubling as a wedding venue with spectacular views across the bay.
“We have a unique opportunity to create something special to be enjoyed by both our visitors and locals alike,” says Kerry Michael. “We have travelled extensively looking at options and believe these rides and attractions will bring something new to Weston. The panorama tower will be a new focal point and will quickly become a landmark for the town.”