West Pier response

The amount of comment and debate about the plans to restore West Pier shows just how much people in Plymouth care about the Barbican and the city’s heritage.

But there is some misinformation and misunderstanding about the scheme which is leading to unnecessary anxiety about the plans.

We’re as proud of our heritage, including the cobbles in the Barbican, as anyone, which is why there will be no net loss of cobbles under this scheme.

The cobbles on the pier have to be removed so the structure underneath, which is being undermined by the tide and water running into it is creating voids. These need to be filled and the pier stabilised..

The cobbles that are currently on the pier will be moved a short distance to the area at the beginning of the pier, creating a longer stretch of cobbles leading up Commercial Road outside the Admiral MacBride.

On the pier itself there will be a high quality granite surface that will allow water to properly drain away to help avoid future erosion problems, as well as allow it to be used safely by people with disabilities and parents with prams.

A spokesperson said: “We will be moving the ones laid on the pier in the early 90s a short distance away to cover an area that is currently unattractive tarmac.

“This scheme is all about protecting one of jewels in Plymouth’s crown for future generations. We absolutely have to take the cobbles on the pier up so we can repair the structure underneath. This means we can create a longer stretch of cobbles a short distance away by linking to the existing cobbled street. This will help improve the attractiveness of the whole area.

“This scheme is all about protecting Plymouth’s heritage, which is why the heritage bodies are backing the plans, as well as making sure the Barbican looks its best in time for Mayflower 400. This will not involve any cobbles being taken away from the Barbican area.”