Emotions run high when it comes to seafront developments; and Mumbles Pier, not surprisingly, fits into that category. The Ameco development in the glorious Welsh seaside town will see £35 million invested in the pier and a five- storey hotel.
All good so far for the regeneration of Mumbles. But, not everyone wants this and their search for any loophole has mustered up a administrative misfiling.
Those campaigning against the development of Mumbles Pier have now claimed that parts of the proposed site lay on on the Gower Peninsula Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as such can’t be built upon.
The project, which would usher in a wholesale change to the Mumbles frontline including a hotel and flats,is currently being considered by Swansea Council who at present state the proposals do not encroach on the protected land.
Opponents to the development however claim that due to a mistake in council process this is not the case. Campaigners believe to have found a map in the National Archives at Kew that show that parts of the project do lie on protected land and the assertion to the contrary was due to a digitisation error by the council.
The Mumbles Action Group has long protested the plans, claiming that the development is not in keeping with the aesthetics, nor cultural tonality of the area. They now have lawyers on the case.
Writing to Swansea council the campaign group solicitors advised that this is a “very serious matter,with wide-ranging implications for the council”. Quite clearly,it seems. Eight years of development in the region could be impacted by the campaign group claims.
Hence they have called for a delay to the council’s decision.
Ameco, the owner of Mumbles Pier,remains committed to the proposal;it has a 120-year old pier to maintain and restore. Without the £35m scheme,this task is made all the more difficult; the five-storey hotel and apartments are integral to the whole regeneration of Mumbles as a major resort.
But this is not gaining traction with the campaign group. Jinny Howells,a member of the group, said: “Mumbles is known across the world and,in fact,it’s used by Visit Wales to market this area,and indeed the whole of Wales, to the world. Once that building is there,that view is gone forever, and we’ll never get it back.
The problem is, if the project flounders,the view may be all the group will be left with; the Mumbles economy is driven by its pier and without that the economic vista will look very bleak.