First look at Mumbles pier development plans


South Wales Evening Post – Wednesday, 28 December 2011

This could be the shape of things to come for Mumbles in Swansea.

The wraps have come off the first stages of foreshore development that will help pay for a multi-million refurbishment of iconic Mumbles Pier.

Demolition work on the Victorian structure began last month in advance of a £9 million virtual rebuild that will include a modern replacement lifeboat house. Latest plans showing what developers hope to create around the site of the pier also include everything from a luxury hotel to seafront apartments.

And for the first time, today's artist's impression also includes sight of a new cantilevered pedestrian boardwalk.

This will initially run from the inshore lifeboat station to the pier but would eventually connect as far as Knab Rock adding a whole new element to the ambitious project.

A business plan submitted by pier operators AMECO aims to repay the debt by selling off sections of foreshore in their ownership for development. Since there is no grant aid available to restore the privately owned 113-year-old pier, the entire project has to be financed by commercial borrowing.

Planning consent for apartments on the waterside site plus an 80-bed hotel at the adjacent Mumbles headland was granted by Swansea Council in June this year following 18 months of deliberations. Building work is scheduled to start in March 2012.

A spokesman for AMECO said there had already been considerable interest from prospective buyers, including overseas enquiries. The estimated completion for the joint AMECO and RNLI project is by the end of 2013. The entire scheme would create 200 construction jobs and 160 jobs once up and running.

It hasn't been without its critics although many now see it as vital to help Mumbles retain its position as the region's hot spot.

Local Anne Davies, 56, from Norton out walking yesterday said she was behind the scheme adding: "It is about time the village had some real investment in it. I think this type of project is what most would be happy with."

Shopper Helen Blake from Thistleboon added: "I am all for it. Mumbles is the jewel in Swansea's crown but it can't afford to rest on its laurels. "Without something like this, a key part of the village is going to look like a throwback from the 1950s for a very long time."