Talking Point: How could the West Pier be rebuilt?

Talking Point: How could the West Pier be rebuilt?

Talking Point: How could the West Pier be rebuilt?

First published in News

Yesterday, we asked readers whether they think the West Pier should be rebuilt, demolished or simply left to the elements. 

Although most people thought it should be left to the elements, a significant number of people thought it should be rebuilt. 

But if this were even possible how could - and should - it be done?

A faithful replica of the pier in its glory days? A modern version fit for the 21st century? Or something else entirely?

Have your say below - and continue to vote in our original ballot. 

Comments (17)

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7:58am Thu 6 Feb 14

Angryoldman says...

Why bother rebuilding something that you couldn’t look after in the first place.
Margate wasted years talking about airy fairy plans for their weather damaged pier. In the end, just like the Brighton West Pier it fell into the sea and had to be demolished. Stop looking back and move forward.
We already have a wonderful pier. Look after the one we have.
Why bother rebuilding something that you couldn’t look after in the first place. Margate wasted years talking about airy fairy plans for their weather damaged pier. In the end, just like the Brighton West Pier it fell into the sea and had to be demolished. Stop looking back and move forward. We already have a wonderful pier. Look after the one we have. Angryoldman
  • Score: 6

8:07am Thu 6 Feb 14

Plantpot says...

Just knock it down. To all intents and purposes it's gone anyway, and continues to be an eyesore.
Just knock it down. To all intents and purposes it's gone anyway, and continues to be an eyesore. Plantpot
  • Score: -7

8:30am Thu 6 Feb 14

esh lad says...

Why was such a beautiful pier left to rot and then vandalized...maybe too close to the Palace Pier....more questions than answers methinks!
Why was such a beautiful pier left to rot and then vandalized...maybe too close to the Palace Pier....more questions than answers methinks! esh lad
  • Score: 26

8:47am Thu 6 Feb 14

comanche762 says...

how about the new council office then we could all sit on the beach and throw stones at them or charge tourists extortionist prices for bags of stones like in the life of Brian
"i'll have two points , two flats and a packet of gravel "
how about the new council office then we could all sit on the beach and throw stones at them or charge tourists extortionist prices for bags of stones like in the life of Brian "i'll have two points , two flats and a packet of gravel " comanche762
  • Score: 7

9:35am Thu 6 Feb 14

Alison Smith says...

'Brighton Pier' would only object to any rebuild anyway.
'Brighton Pier' would only object to any rebuild anyway. Alison Smith
  • Score: 17

10:28am Thu 6 Feb 14

J Hill says...

I doubt she will ever be rebuilt but I have to admit I would love to see her restored to her former glory. She was stunning and one of the finest pier in the UK. I have fond memories of walking on her decks in the early 70's. She was built in 1866 and managed to survive for so long. The iron arches and terrace along Madeira Drive were built in 1890 and are now also looking dishevelled and threatened (sections already closed off by current council). Just as a comparison the Eiffel Tower in Paris was opened in in 1889 (it's construction started in 1887) and it's been well looked after and cared for by the French, is still going strong and looks as though it was built yesterday. How would that famous Paris landmark have looked if it had been in the hands of Brighton Council over the years? We have little respect for our heritage and history and no regard for the unique and stunning Victorian structures that they left behind for us to cherish. Absolutely shameful.
I doubt she will ever be rebuilt but I have to admit I would love to see her restored to her former glory. She was stunning and one of the finest pier in the UK. I have fond memories of walking on her decks in the early 70's. She was built in 1866 and managed to survive for so long. The iron arches and terrace along Madeira Drive were built in 1890 and are now also looking dishevelled and threatened (sections already closed off by current council). Just as a comparison the Eiffel Tower in Paris was opened in in 1889 (it's construction started in 1887) and it's been well looked after and cared for by the French, is still going strong and looks as though it was built yesterday. How would that famous Paris landmark have looked if it had been in the hands of Brighton Council over the years? We have little respect for our heritage and history and no regard for the unique and stunning Victorian structures that they left behind for us to cherish. Absolutely shameful. J Hill
  • Score: 18

10:30am Thu 6 Feb 14

Crystal Ball says...

The simple fact is, what remains (remained?) of the West Pier is way past any restoration or refurbishment as there was, in essence, nothing to save.

A new and safe structure would be preferable rather than an iSore.
The simple fact is, what remains (remained?) of the West Pier is way past any restoration or refurbishment as there was, in essence, nothing to save. A new and safe structure would be preferable rather than an iSore. Crystal Ball
  • Score: 10

10:38am Thu 6 Feb 14

Brightonian63 says...

Instead of the i360 why not build a ultra modern pier to compliment the victorian palace pier. I'd suggest stainless steel structure, wooden deck with inset glass viewing panels, An art and performance centre, cafe, restaurant, museum of the the old west pier, and maybe at the far end a submerged viewing deck encased in glass. something for the 21st century.
Instead of the i360 why not build a ultra modern pier to compliment the victorian palace pier. I'd suggest stainless steel structure, wooden deck with inset glass viewing panels, An art and performance centre, cafe, restaurant, museum of the the old west pier, and maybe at the far end a submerged viewing deck encased in glass. something for the 21st century. Brightonian63
  • Score: 21

10:39am Thu 6 Feb 14

Old Ale Man says...

West Pier Trust, should be made to clear the site.
It's a bloody dangerous rusting eye sore.
There is a local building company who would get on with building a new pier but the the trustees wont allow it to happen. WHY???
What interest is there in it for them to hold up plans to build a new west pier??
West Pier Trust, should be made to clear the site. It's a bloody dangerous rusting eye sore. There is a local building company who would get on with building a new pier but the the trustees wont allow it to happen. WHY??? What interest is there in it for them to hold up plans to build a new west pier?? Old Ale Man
  • Score: 11

10:43am Thu 6 Feb 14

stir up says...

The old Palace Pier was great compared to the existing rubbish one, it had a lovely theatre at the end where there are rubbish amusements that cost a bomb. It is unlikely that there will ever be enough money to rebuild the West Pier which is a great pity just think of all the money the Greens have wasted over the time they have been what is called running the council
The old Palace Pier was great compared to the existing rubbish one, it had a lovely theatre at the end where there are rubbish amusements that cost a bomb. It is unlikely that there will ever be enough money to rebuild the West Pier which is a great pity just think of all the money the Greens have wasted over the time they have been what is called running the council stir up
  • Score: 8

10:47am Thu 6 Feb 14

Richada says...

Much as I support heritage in many forms, I do feel that we have to move on now. The West Pier, as we knew it, is beyond saving, under any circumstances this would be a new build project.

IF, and that's a big if, a new West Pier were to be built, it should be a new 21st Century design / attraction. Cycle and bus lanes excepted, unlike our Victorian forebears, we currently leave very little of worth for future generations.

Should someone (not B&HCC!) come up with funding for such a project, a competition could be held to design a new pier, to similar dimensions, but not neccessarily the same "footprint" as the now gone West Pier.

There must be some budding architects out there who would relish such a challenge. Modern materials should prove more durable than the Victorian ironwork. Fires, caused by electrical malfunctions, which have always been a weak point on piers generally, should in the 21st century be far less of a risk too.

Having said all of that, one still cannot help thinking that this is all rather hypothetical due to funding constraints. However, we can all dream about having a multi-attraction pier back on this site rather than the one trick pony i360, which, let's face it, is unlikely to be still there in 50 years time, let alone 150.
Much as I support heritage in many forms, I do feel that we have to move on now. The West Pier, as we knew it, is beyond saving, under any circumstances this would be a new build project. IF, and that's a big if, a new West Pier were to be built, it should be a new 21st Century design / attraction. Cycle and bus lanes excepted, unlike our Victorian forebears, we currently leave very little of worth for future generations. Should someone (not B&HCC!) come up with funding for such a project, a competition could be held to design a new pier, to similar dimensions, but not neccessarily the same "footprint" as the now gone West Pier. There must be some budding architects out there who would relish such a challenge. Modern materials should prove more durable than the Victorian ironwork. Fires, caused by electrical malfunctions, which have always been a weak point on piers generally, should in the 21st century be far less of a risk too. Having said all of that, one still cannot help thinking that this is all rather hypothetical due to funding constraints. However, we can all dream about having a multi-attraction pier back on this site rather than the one trick pony i360, which, let's face it, is unlikely to be still there in 50 years time, let alone 150. Richada
  • Score: 7

10:48am Thu 6 Feb 14

stir up says...

To Old Ale Man so you want the trustees to build a new pier are you going to pay for it have you any idea how much it would cost to get rid of the old structure on top of a new build. I am sure if some multimillionaire can up with the funds the trust would be only too pleased to see it rebuilt
To Old Ale Man so you want the trustees to build a new pier are you going to pay for it have you any idea how much it would cost to get rid of the old structure on top of a new build. I am sure if some multimillionaire can up with the funds the trust would be only too pleased to see it rebuilt stir up
  • Score: 2

12:16pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Answer: with great difficulty, angels who did not miss the odd few thousand apiece and several squadrons of flying pigs in attendance!
Answer: with great difficulty, angels who did not miss the odd few thousand apiece and several squadrons of flying pigs in attendance! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 2

1:20pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Number Six says...

Turn it into offices for the Greens. They're all at sea so they'll be quite at home
Turn it into offices for the Greens. They're all at sea so they'll be quite at home Number Six
  • Score: 4

4:01pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Boshay says...

... erm, from scratch?
... erm, from scratch? Boshay
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Thu 6 Feb 14

paulmacka says...

The country is known for it's piers and if we treat every one like we have the west pier then we will loose them all,.
With modern building techniques, we could rebuild the pier to resemble the old one, there would be no competition against the other pier if it is used completely differently, maybe concentrate on a different kind of clientele, maybe older, with no slot machines or rides, just traditional entertainment.
The country is known for it's piers and if we treat every one like we have the west pier then we will loose them all,. With modern building techniques, we could rebuild the pier to resemble the old one, there would be no competition against the other pier if it is used completely differently, maybe concentrate on a different kind of clientele, maybe older, with no slot machines or rides, just traditional entertainment. paulmacka
  • Score: 2

1:02pm Fri 7 Feb 14

HT says...

The West Pier is iconic - why is an eyesore of a 175-metre tower on the seafront approved but a part of Brighton's history is left to rot? As others have said, make the pier into a 21st century attraction, combine history with future.
The West Pier is iconic - why is an eyesore of a 175-metre tower on the seafront approved but a part of Brighton's history is left to rot? As others have said, make the pier into a 21st century attraction, combine history with future. HT
  • Score: 3

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