THE FUTURE of Colwyn Bay pier was dealt a heavy blow this afternoon, after members of Conwy County Borough Council voted to pursue the de-listing and demolition of the Grade II listed building.
In a dramatic meeting at council headquarters at Bodlondeb, a majority of council members voted to de-list and demolish the Victoria Pier.
The option of demolition - one of six in a council report put to members - was proposed by Cllr Goronwy Edwards, who said any cost of keeping the pier would be "unsustainable", and having a continued eyesore on the front could put the regeneration of the town into question.
Cllr William Knightly said the council could not afford to spend money on "white elephants" - least of all in the context of a suggested five per cent rise in Council Tax.
Cllr Brian Cossey raised the fact that members did not know how much de-listing and demolition would cost; and also the possible opposition such a move could face from Cadw and Shore Thing.
Cllr Cossey proposed that councillors defer the decision until costs for demolition could be put together - but this was rejected at the final vote.
Other options proposed included outright redevelopment of the pier, as per a submission with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF); and creating a number of "concession units" on the boardwalk.
But these were not enough to win the day, with a majority of councillors voting to demolish the pier.
Cllr Chris Hughes, a representative of the Glyn Ward in Colwyn Bay, said after the decision was made that he "felt numb".
He said: "I don't know what to say. It's a sad day. Demolition is the one decision that didn't seem to stand up. We don't know how long it's going to take, nor what the costs are going to be."
He added: "Shore Thing will continue to fight any move towards demolition and they have my full support in that."
Steve Hunt, who is in an ongoing legal battle with the council over ownership of the pier, said he was "not at all concerned" by the decision, and he would continue to pursue ownership in the courts.