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Plans to develop the seafront in Porthcawl have once again come under scrutinee this week, as both residents and business owners fear parking may become impossible when a new 900 home development is constructed in the area.

The proposals for Porthcawl which include more than 900 houses and facilities for businesses and visitors are planned for land that currently encompasses the amusement park, Griffin Park, and Sandy Bay area.

However, for Porthcawl town councillor, Brian Jones, he fears that there are already a number of issues with parking at the seaside town, which could be further exacerbated when more houses are built.

He said: “As it stands there isn’t enough parking in Porthcawl, and if you come here on a busy weekend you can often struggle to find a place, with people parking on pavements, double yellow lines or grassed areas wherever they can. Even on a quiet week day if you want to park on the high-street you will find it very difficult, so we are definitely seeing the need for more spaces in the town.

“We saw in the development plans for the area that there were plans for a multi-story car park in Hillsboro, but with parking being in taken away at salt lake to make way for another housing development, we feel it still leaves us in a major defeceit for spaces when the work is complete.

“While we are happy to see things being developed here we want to have plans that will turn Porthcawl in to a premier seaside resort that encourages people to visit, though if there is nowhere for people to park once these houses are built, we fear they will just by-pass us and carry on to other places along the coast such as Barry or Aberavon.”

Corum Champion, 48, owns Coney Surf Shop in Porthcawl and says he fears that a lack of parking could potentially force his business to go under in the years to come if the issues of parking aren’t addressed in the town.

He said: “We have seen that there are a lot of plans for development here in Porthcawl over the next couple of years, and there are certain elements that have made us worry as a business.

“Porthcawl is a great place to surf so we could really capitalise on that if it was handled the right way, but with so many houses being proposed now it seems like it is just going to turn in to a nice place to live as opposed to the tourist destination it has always been.

“On a sunny weekend it’s already a nightmare to park, and if we are going to keep attracting surfers who need to bring vans or cars that are capable of holding equipment, then that space needs to be there for them. This also has a knock on effect to residents as when it’s a busy day people will be parking anywhere they can which in turn puts them out of place.

“It is tough for businesses here, but hopefully they will have another look at the plans before anything further goes ahead or businesses like mine could really struggle if those tourists are turned away.”

Porthcawl Parking issues
Leah Webb

Leah Webb 19, lives in Porthcawl and says when big events come to the town the parking issues can also impact residents who live nearby.

She said: “When you have big events like firework displays or the Elvis festival it is a struggle to park in Porthcawl, so we always find it best to leave the car at home if we come in to town.

“For me I’d like to see more developed for tourism and leisure in the area anyway, but whatever is done they will have to take parking in to consideration or it could end up causing even more problems than we have now.”

Barry Setthers travels in to Porthcawl from Maesteg each day, where he works at a burger and hot-dog stand on the sea-front. Like many others Barry fears what could happen if there is more pressure added to existing parking facitilies, and hopes that more research is done to adress the issue in the coming months.

He said: “In some ways what they are doing is great, and we love to see development and progress in the town, but if that is going to impact the residents and businesses that are already here then it could be an issue.

“On one hand with more houses and shops like Aldi it could be an improvement on Porthcawl as an area to live in, but in giving that improvement it could also take away from the tourism aspect of the town that everybody here loves.

Porthcawl Parking issues
Barry Setthers

“It is a diffuicult place to park now, and I’ve heard a lot of people say that, so If you do the basic math more houses plus less spaces will only make it harder in the future. For me they just have to find the right balance between housing and tourism as the plans progress with this development, in a way that makes everyone happy not just a few.”

A council spokesperson said feasibility studies have been commissioned to explore how people will visit Porthcawl in the future, with a wide approach taken towards transportation issues.

They said: “In addition to a planned multi-storey car park built to modern standards on the site of the existing Hillsboro facility, the regeneration plans entail a wider overall approach towards dealing with transportation issues and how people will opt to visit Porthcawl in future.

“This means that at the same time that feasibility studies are being commissioned to explore the potential design and capacity of a new multi-storey car park, we are also exploring or developing options such as the Metro Link, which is going to enhance public transport accessibility to Porthcawl.

“With planning permission already in place, construction on the new Metro Link is expected to start in 2023.”

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