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Council asks public: How can we make best use of coastal sites?

Swansea Council is asking the public how they think several plots of council-owned land should be best used in future.


It is likely that the seafront sites could provide a significant long-term boost to the community's free time opportunities and the area's tourism offer.

In a parallel activity, the council is asking potential partners how they believe the areas could be developed to improve the seafront for the public.

The council is eager to hear about ideas for considerate development that would enhance the bay as opposed to over-development or high-rise buildings.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: "The public continually tell us that there should be more facilities for them along the seafront and especially on the promenade between the city centre and Mumbles. For instance, they regularly mention attractions such as coffee shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities.

"Business is clearly of the same opinion as we had enormous interest when we marketed the lease of the former 360 beachfront café last year.

"The public and business now have the chance to tell us how they think other sites can be best used in the coming years.

"Their ideas could help see the promenade become much more of an attraction, maintaining its beauty and environmental integrity. We want to enhance and protect what we have so we really want ideas that are sympathetic to our glorious bay.

"There are no plans for any of these sites right now so we're starting with a blank piece of paper and want to hear what the public and developers have to say; the thoughts of all will be greatly valued.

"All ideas will be considered as we work hard to cover major losses in government funding by generating more income from our assets.

"This exercise could lead to our crown that is the Swansea seafront having yet more jewels to attract, entertain, retain and employ people."

The council does not plan to sell the sites but is interested to hear how possible partners and others think it could maximise income from them. The sites are: Land on the Mumbles side of the West Cross Inn; Land around the skate ramp, West Cross; Blackpill Lido; Sketty Lane car park. Also included is two of the six Langland tennis courts.

Ideas the council would prefer to hear about are those on a small scale and in keeping with the immediate local environment - no high-rise developments.

Any money they make will be reinvested in council services for the benefit of local residents.

In order to gather ideas, the council is publishing a Prior Information Notice (PIN) on the Welsh Government procurement portal Sell2Wales. This is aimed at potential development partners.

It is also due to launch a public consultation exercise, asking members of the public and local organisations: "What type of considerate development do you think would maximise the potential of these sites to best serve future generations?"

Cllr Francis-Davies said: "This sounding exercise will test the market in a non-committal way; we're at an exceptionally early stage and this initial process will see what ideas are out there for ensuring we make the best use of our land for the benefit of our council tax payers. No decisions have yet been made.

"Any ideas that do come in will be carefully considered and, before anything came to fruition, there would be thorough public consultation and the normal rigorous planning process.

"As Swansea marks its 50th anniversary as a city it's important that we continue to look ahead, to understand the public's wishes and to best understand how we can maximise the financial gain from our assets."

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