The West Pier Trust has said a section of the beloved Victorian structure has collapsed this morning following the battering from Storm Imogen.

Rachel Clarke, chief executive of the trust, said a “small section of the central part of the pier ruin” fell into the sea earlier today.

She warned the collapse “might develop” but added it was “not a huge surprise” following for the force of the storm.

The Argus:

The last collapse on the pier happened in stormy weather in 2014 and the structure has been in disrepair since it burned down in 2003.

Ms Clarke said: “We are being very cautious but we have always made very clear the structure is unmaintained and is very vulnerable to strong winds like Imogen.

“When nothing happened we were surprised and it has taken a little bit more time for the collapse to happen.”

She added: “The West Pier does not have a long term future when you get massive storms like we had Monday.”