Mumbles Pier development draws closer despite “heated” local meeting

Mumbles Pier
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In a community council survey, residents voted ‘yes’ to the proposed plans for Mumbles Pier. However, such ambitious projects rarely tend to please everyone.

he majority of Mumbles residents are in favour of the long-awaited Mumbles Pier development, according to a recent community council poll – despite a recent “heated” local meeting on the matter.

With approval for outline plans granted in 2010, Mumbles Pier operator Ameco has been working on ambitious plans for its Swansea Bay attraction for almost a decade, tweaking and tinkering with details as a result of on-going consultations with residents and local businesses.

The proposals are now at a point where the majority of Mumbles want Ameco to push forward, but still two points of contention remain; firstly, Mumbles Amateur Rowing Club will have to find a new clubhouse, and secondly, several residents are concerned they won’t be able to see Mumbles Lighthouse from one of the town’s squares. Both points were raised in local meeting, described as “heated” by community councillor Helen Mitchell.

The rowing club has been given notice to leave its clubhouse – located on land set for Mumbles Pier’s development – by the end of the year, but Ameco has been trying to find space for them else- where in the proposal.

“Discussions have been ongoing with Mumbles Amateur Rowing Club to find alternative on-site facilities when their lease expires,” stated a
spokesperson for Ameco. “The main activity at the building in recent times has been to host a private drinking club which is not only contrary to the leasehold agreement but often causes significant parking problems for the adjacent RNLI inshore lifeboat station.”

Meanwhile, Mumbles resident Jean Williams is “intent on stopping” the development due to her not being able to see Mumbles Lighthouse from Oystermouth Square. However, this is the first time in eight years the point has been raised.

“The allegation that the view of the Mumbles Lighthouse from Oyster- mouth Square will be obstructed is disputed, and this aspect has never been cited by city planners in determining the need for sensitive development on this site,” the Ameco spokesperson continued. “The scheme footprint is now smaller than originally approved in 2011 and is considerably reduced in height. It is far less prominent and provides extensive public access. Clifftop access and common land appropriation is no longer required.”

After making so many changes to please both residents and the council over the years, supporters of Ameco’s development plans are growing increasingly frustated. On Facebook, a group named “Yes to the Mumbles Pier re-development” has grown to almost 3,000 strong. Its members are looking forward to the £35m plan for new accommodation, a fresh boardwalk, extended parking, and a first-floor function room on the Pier, with the ground floor remaining as a cafe and amusements – and so are local businesses.

“Mumbles Pier is the major tourist operator in the area and anything that sustains that and keeps it going must be positive,” said Paul Whittaker, chairman of Mumbles Traders Association. “People might think perhaps the plans need a few tweaks, and it must be right for the area, but we want the business to continue.”

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