Delighted Birdman organisers have been given the go-ahead for this year’s crowd-puller in Bognor Regis.
A single meeting with council officers and the emergency services which lasted just an hour was all it took for the approval to be granted.
The speedy result means Barry and Jenny Jones and their committee of helpers can concentrate on the final arrangements ready for this year’s fly-off on July 16 and 17.
Mr Jones said: “Everything is smoothly going ahead. We have had our first and only safety advisory group meeting this morning at Arun District Council.
“There were no questions around the strength of the pier and no other queries. We were told we could go ahead provided we repeated what we did last year. ”
He said some 20 entries in all categories had already been received for the two-day world-famous contest.
“They are coming in fast at the moment,” he said. “We have a few serious ones, which is good.
“I am very pleased with the situation at the moment.”
He praised pier owner John Ayers for the amount of work he had carried out on the pier in the past year. This had included fixing a lot of extra steelwork to strength the structure. Mr Jones’s comments to Bognor Regis town councillors were met by a round of applause.
Cllr Paul Wells said: “People don’t realise the amount of work it takes to keep the pier up to the standard it needs to be maintained to.
“The pier erodes very quickly and Mr Ayers has spent a lot of money on it since he came to Bognor in 1996.”
The town council agreed to write to Mr Ayers to thank him for his efforts to ensure the pier can be kept open and Birdman can continue to be held.
Roger Wood, Arun’s chief environmental health officer, and the chairman of Arun’s safety advisory committee, said the council would offer whatever help, advice and guidance it could to ensure a successful Birdman.
The situation is in contrast to last summer. Mr and Mrs Jones were not given the final go-ahead for the event until 4.30pm on the preceding afternoon.
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