‘Tar­mac beach’ re­place­ment al­most com­plete

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - CATHY OWEN AND LIZ BRAD­FIELD echo.news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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