‘Tarmac beach’ replacement almost complete
THE £3m project to replace Porthcawl’s “Tarmac beach” with new sea defences is nearing completion.
All of the main terraces are now in place, and work is currently focused on strengthening and repairing the lower sea wall.
Once complete, work will move on to the final stage, which involves the installation of the “sandycoloured” surface.
After 40 years of failed regeneration schemes in Porthcawl a huge swathe of projects are on the verge of completely transforming the town.
The development includes a small-scale supermarket, housing and hotels while separate re- generation plans across involve a maritime centre, a watersports centre, new apartments and upgraded sea defences.
Bridgend council’s cabinet member for regeneration Charles Smith said: “There is a new, positive feeling in the air, and I think it arises from a sense that many different strands of work, with patience, persistence and cooperation involving many people, both in the public eye, and behind the scenes, are at last all coming together.”
Other regeneration projects in the town include Salt Lake Car Park, where a supermarket, homes and a leisure facility could be built.
There are also plans for Hillsboro Place Car Park, which will mostly be kept as a car park but will be upgraded.
The southern end of the car park which is separated by small stone pillars is land set aside for a budget hotel.
The council hopes this will also involve the renovation of the Harlequin building, the only remaining part of the town’s former railway station.
There will be also an upgrade to the Eastern Promenade.
Cllr Smith would like to see a tree-lined boulevard attraction where people can come and promenade.
It will still include cycle lanes and two-way traffic.
Before any housing is built, new coastal defences need to be built along the Eastern Prom at Sandy Bay.
Work on this is planned for 2020-21.
Bridgend council is currently working with the Welsh Government on a design for coastal protection and enhancements.
The Portway, the main approach road into the town, will be re-engineered with crossing places, visual improvements and the prospect of on-street parking. The idea is to make it more pedestrian friendly. The Council would like to see a boutique hotel built on the former Dunraven Flats site which is on the corner of the Eastern Promenade and the Esplanade.
However, due to a covenant on the land, a “very high percentage” of anything put there that makes a profit goes to the Welsh Government.
Cllr Smith said this was acting as a disincentive and work was currently ongoing to produce a more favourable outcome.
Plans for a Maritime Centre at the Harbourside were given planning per- mission in 2016.
It includes a £5.5m building which will host a coastal science and discovery centre, a hydrotherapy pool, a micro brewery, a themed restaurant, a cafe, an information centre and accommodation for groups such as schools to stay.
The Harbourside kiosk is being refurbished to give the historic building a “fresh new look” and introduce showers, toilets and other facilities for boats visiting Porthcawl Marina.
The council is also in discussions about leasing the former bait shop kiosk as part of the Harbourside/Cosy Corner development.
The Sandy Bay development involves housing and open space, and space for a travelling fairground.
It will be a joint partnership between Bridgend council and the Evans family.
With work due to begin in August, the council will shortly be announcing details of the successful tender for the integrated watersports centre and cafe project at Rest Bay.
Work to replace Porthcawl’s ‘Tarmac beach’ is nearly finished