South Wales Evening Post - 16 September 2012

Agents to attract Mumbles pier developers

Business leaders have welcomed the announcement that an international estate agent has been appointed to promote the Mumbles Pier development.

Savills will attempt to attract developers to the project, which already has outline planning permission for a 70-bed hotel and an apartment block. Tracy Duffy, treasurer of the Mumbles Traders' Association, said: "We always welcome any development in Mumbles.

Estate agent Savills has been appointed to attract developers for the £9.5 million redevelopment of Mumbles Pier.

"With all the shops which have closed down recently we could do with any added footfall."

But she added a note of caution about the style of any new build. She said: "Any development would have to be sympathetic with the rest of the village. I'm sure they will do this, as Mumbles could not do without the pier and the pier could not do without Mumbles."

Savills said the hotel site would feature leisure and retail facilities, some of the existing buildings at the pier will be kept.

The first phase of the development has already started — a £9.5 million offshore boathouse for the RNLI at the end of the listed pier.

Leah Jeffreys, an associate at Savills' Cardiff office, said: "This is an exceptional and dynamic development opportunity on the Gower coastline, sited on the fringe of its Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

Planning permission was negotiated on the basis that the new build elements would be viable and cross subsidise the ultimate refurbishment of the listed pier.

Miss Jeffreys added: "This is a truly exceptional opportunity as the scheme will benefit from a panoramic outlook over Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel. It is very rare to find development land in such a spectacular waterside location yet so close to Mumbles village and facilities in Swansea.

"The flexible planning permission will attract both residential and commercial developers because hotel, and/or upmarket apartments and uses including retail and restaurant use are permitted. Either scheme will involve enabling works to increase the developable area around the existing promenade car park. The planning is in outline stage and I anticipate the preferred developer will wish to add their own ideas."

Savills is initially inviting expressions of interest from local, regional and national developers experienced in niche projects. It is expected that following a shortlisting exercise, the appointment of a preferred developer will be made around Christmas time this year.