A COUNCILLOR has proposed setting up a group called Baywatch to protect and enhance the Swansea seafront.

Councillor Chris Holley said he was keen to hear from members of the public who might be interested in joining such an organisation.

He said he has received a “massive amount of feedback” about council proposals for future uses of five seafront sites – the car park at the bottom of Sketty Lane, the Blackpill Lido, the skate ramp area at West Cross, a plot of land on the Mumbles side of The West Cross Inn, and two of the tennis courts at Langland.

Liberal Democrat and opposition group leader Cllr Holley said Baywatch would be a volunteer group and, if set up, would be run in a non-political way.

The Labour-run council is consulting the public on its seafront proposals and is also seeking commercial expressions of interests for the five sites.

No decisions have been taken, high-rise development is off the table, and some of the sites might prove not to be acceptable for further consideration.

Hundreds of people have responded to the consultation, which ends on June 10, but Cllr Holley said he felt a volunteer group would give more opportunity for people to get involved.

“I hope that this way we can get a much wider engagement with the public,” he said.

Speaking last week, Swansea-based tourism consultant Dr Terry Stevens said he felt any development that did end up taking place should be aimed at residents first and foremost.

“The market trends are telling us that visitors increasingly want to do things that local people do,” he said.

Also speaking last week, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Councillor Robert Francis-Davies, said he would like to see some more commercial venues – for example a fish restaurant – but without damaging in any way the look of the bay.

He said: “More people are coming here and they want more facilities.”

In response to the Baywatch proposal, council leader Rob Stewart said: “We already support and work with a number of friends of organisations to enhance parks and other facilities and if there was support for a such a group for the seafront it would be an idea we would happily look at.”

He added: “We have said from day one that we would not consider any development that is not sensitive and not in keeping with the seafront.

“Any proposals must also enhance the bay for residents and visitors.”

– If you are interested in the Baywatch group idea, email Cllr Holley at cllr.chris.holley@swansea.gov.uk

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