PROPOSALS to alter a multi-million pound seafront development after mounting pressure from residents have been approved.
Earlier this week, Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) revealed its updated proposals for housing on Salt Lake car park in Porthcawl after conversations with a number of concerned residents who were calling for the protection of recreational green space.
The newly revised proposals, which were approved by BCBC’s Cabinet, included a reduction in the area outlined for housing by a third and the creation of a new seafront park to rival those of Aberavon and Barry.
Speaking at the Cabinet meeting, Council Leader, Huw David said:
“I am absolutely delighted that part of those plans [include] an investment in public green space.”
Cllr David added that as well as being to the benefit of residents, he hoped that the revised proposals will help attract more visitors to Porthcawl.
Expected to be almost as large as two football pitches laid back-to-back, the new seafront park will run for 200 metres along the eastern esplanade and will be approximately 70 metres wide.
Residents have been continuously calling for communities to be at the centre of the development at Salt Lake – the future of which has been the subject of intense debate for over four decades – and for leisure attractions to play a more prominent role there.
Corporate Director of Communities, Janine Nightingale said the consultation process on the Porthcawl seafront development was “very well attended”.
“The main areas of concern [among residents] were the amount of residential development we were proposing [and] any accompanying parking.”
Ms Nightingale highlighted that whilst the area of housing at Salt Lake was being reduced, the number of houses anticipated to be spread across Salt Lake and Sandy Bay West will remain the same – in the region of 1,100 homes.
Cllr Charles Smith said:
“Contrary to the figures [circulating] on social media, there will not be thousands of houses on Salt Lake.
“It is much less than what the rumour mongers would have people believe.”
The entire area ear-marked for development along Eastern Promenade will be split into three sections – Salt Lake South, Salt Lake Central and Salt Lake North.
It is envisaged that Salt Lake South could accommodate a high quality hotel with an associated restaurant, cafe and bar; retail space; and tourist attractions.
Salt Lake Central, which is the area that has been revised to include a new seafront park, will predominantly be residential.
Salt Lake North has been earmarked for retail space and is the location of an already approved new Aldi food store.
Construction of the store is expected to begin this summer.
Speaking about the wider seafront development, Cllr Smith added: “Eastern Promenade will be a world class destination.
“There will be space in our public realm for attractions. Who knows, you might see a winter wonderland with an ice rink [there].”
He said the “green boulevard” will be a “focal point” and that the completed development might resemble something “between Portmeirion and Portishead”.
When asked about the timescale of the development along Eastern Promenade and when residents can expect work to begin, council officer Janine Nightingale said: “We want to continue the momentum.”
“An important bit for us is that we start putting the infrastructure in the area [first].
“What you will start to see hopefully [by] next year is the infrastructure being laid out.”
Detailed design work has also been completed on the proposed Metrolink set to be located on the eastern side of the Portway, and a planning application is currently being processed.
If approved, this will be delivered using Cardiff Capital Region grant funding and will consist of a new four-bay bus terminus and a single storey enclosed structure featuring a green sedum roof and rainwater garden, together with associated highways alterations, landscaping and public realm works.
Intended to enhance public transport links with Pyle train station and the wider South Wales Metro network, the Metrolink will also seek to improve public transport frequency and accessibility both into and out of Porthcawl.
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