Councillors have agreed to move ahead with plans to revamp Porthcawl seafront by buying land at Sandy Bay and Coney Beach.
The councils cabinet agreed to buy the land from private owners through a compulsory purchase order after previously failing to negotiate with them.
Janine Nightingale, the council’s corporate director of communities, said the regeneration of Porthcawl “will clearly enhance the attractiveness of the town as a place to live and work”.
“It has much wider benefits for the town centre and socio-economic benefits for the broader settlement of Porthcawl,” she added.
Development at Sandy Bay and Coney Beach is expected to run parallel to the council’s plans to develop Salt Lake car park by building an Aldi supermarket within the next two years.
The council previously failed to negotiate with the owners of vacant sites within Sandy Bay and Coney Beach. In response to this, the cabinet agreed to acquire the land through a compulsory purchase order during a meeting on Tuesday July 20.
The council can legally purchase land compulsorily if it think this will enable development, re-development or improvement on or in relation to the land Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Ms Nightingale said the compulsory land purchase marks the start of “quite a lengthy process” that will include the council selling the land to a developer for further development.
Once a developer successfully bids for the land, they will need to submit a formal planning application for a development to the council and public consultations will be held.
“There will be plenty of opportunities for residents and the community to be consulted and to express their views as the project progresses,” said Ms Nightingale.
A report by Ms Nightingale said the project aims to make Porthcawl “a premier seaside resort of regional significance”.
There are plans to build new homes, leisure facilities, shops and schools in Porthcawl. The council also hopes to improve open space at Griffin Park and install “high quality active travel routes” between the harbour and Trecco Bay, according to the report.
Cllr Charles Smith, cabinet member for education and regeneration, said: “none of the developments we are talking about are going to make Porthcawl unviable as a place to live or work or visit due to car parking.
The local authority plans to acquire the land by early 2023 and aims to complete the regeneration scheme in the late 2020s. As part of the project, many buildings erected in the 1960s and 1970s will be demolished.
The report states that by selling the newly-acquired land to a developer, “this will allow for receipts to be maximised whilst also enabling the council to control the nature, scale and quality of proposals put forward by bidders”.
The land that the council will acquire includes:
- Land forming a part of Mackworth Road which begins at No. 48 Mackworth Road and ends at the gated road from Mackworth Road to Sandy Bay Beach
- A plot of land forming the gated road from Mackworth Road to Sandy Bay Beach, part of a wall and stepped revetment onto Sandy Bay Beach from Mackworth Road
- A parcel of land adjoining Mackworth Road, to the east of it, and to the west of Sandy Lane known as the Model Village Leisure Park
- The road and footway of Sandy Lane, off Mackworth Road and south-west of Newton Primary School
- Part of the western verge of Sandy Lane and the rear access to the residential property at 2 Mackworth Road, driveway fronting the residential property at 1 Sandy Lane, and driveway fronting the residential property at 2 Sandy Lane
- Land on the eastern side of Sandy Lane forming a car parking area used in connection with Newton Primary School and a road to the car park at Newton Primary School
- Rhych Avenue off New Road and part of the unadopted lane from Rhych Avenue to the premises known as the Hi Tide Inn with part of the road and eastern footway and western footway of Rhych Avenue, located south of its junction with New Road
- The freehold in the Coney Beach WPD substation located east of Eastern Promenade and Griffin Park Tennis Courts
- All interests other than the freehold in land forming the former Coney Beach Amusement Park
- All interests other than the freehold and registered charge in part of Sandy Bay Beach located east of Eastern Promenade and south-west of Mackworth Road
As part of the compulsory purchase of the land, the owner will receive compensation. The figure has not yet been revealed.
Ms Nightingale’s report states: “Once the need for compensation payments and the amounts which will be required are clarified a report will be presented back to cabinet and council to finalise the amount for the capital programme, with any such payments to be reimbursed from future sale receipts from disposal of the land at Porthcawl.”