Urban Splash has revealed that it has bought Weston-super-Mare's famous Birnbeck Island.
The move represents an extraordinary move by the trendy developer, even by its own eccentric standards.
It is completely unclear what the Manchester company will do with the pier, and a spokesman confirmed that it was too early to announce 'anything like a design competition'.
But there was no disguising the enthusiasm of Jason Collard, managing director of Urban Splash South West, for the acquisition, which follows the likes of the Rotunda and Fort Dunlop in Birmingham.
'Birnbeck Island is a wonderful and challenging site. It means a lot to me as I was always fascinated by it as a child growing up in Weston,' he said.
'The purchase of the island is just the start of what will be a very long process, Urban Splash now plans to explore potential ideas for its future with groups such as the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, SWRDA and North Somerset Council, English Heritage and other interested parties.
'We do not anticipate finding the right solution immediately and it could be two years before we are ready to announce any plans.
'Birnbeck Island is an amazing opportunity and we will work very hard to ensure we are able to deliver the correct scheme for it,' Collard added. by Ed Dorrell