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Mumbles seafront in line for multi-million pound facelift

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

  • Image of Oyster Wharf

  • Oyster Wharf image from the prom

  • Mumbles prom as it looks now

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MUMBLES’S seafront could be in line for a major upgrade with new restaurants, shops and a gym.

This image and photograph show a planned development called Oyster Wharf, compared to how the area looks like now.

If given planning permission by Swansea Council, Oyster Wharf will comprise three restaurants, shops, a gym and spa.

To create this development, the Tivoli building and shopping arcade will be refurbished. In addition The Co-operative Food store opposite Mumbles Post Office will move to the ground floor of the Tivoli building, with two retail units created in the vacated Co-op premises. The upper floor at Tivoli will be a restaurant.

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James Morse, commercial director at Nextcolour Developments Ltd — the company behind Oyster Wharf — said: “The regeneration project is a vital step for Mumbles and will retain the status of the village as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Swansea Bay.

“Oyster Wharf will become a spectacular centrepiece within the community.

“The finished development will offer the perfect mix of retail, food and drink for the whole of Swansea, and become a destination for those looking to explore the history, heritage and beauty of Mumbles from surrounding areas and further afield.”

The £3million-£4million plans also involve the restoration of Tivoli’s art deco-inspired facade.

Mr Morse told the Post he felt this seafront section was looking “quite tired”, and that Mumbles would benefit from what he termed “family-orientated” restaurants.

He added: “We must be up to date and improve the quality of what is on offer.

“It’s time that we see some activity and good quality buildings.”

But Mr Morse said no extra parking had been earmarked as part of the Oyster Wharf scheme.

Allan Lloyd, the owner of Treasure, Newton Road, said he felt the development was exactly what Mumbles needed.

He described the existing stretch of seafront as looking “forgotten”.

“Let’s hope that this new Oyster Wharf does materialise,” said Mr Lloyd.

“This development will also wake up Mumbles and perhaps stir into life the much-needed development of the old bus terminus on the seafront.

“Tourists I meet often ask why this prime seafront position is in such a state?”

John Hillman, acquisitions manager for The Co-operative Food in Wales, said: “The investment will bring a bright, modern store with an extensive fresh produce range and excellent customer service.”

A planning application for Oyster Wharf has been submitted to the council.

Mumbles — or Oystermouth — was once famous for its oysters. A revived annual oyster festival has been earmarked for October 23 to 27, while a small-scale oyster fishery is being trialled in the bay.

Mr Morse said the Oyster Wharf proposal had not been put out to market at this stage, but that there was already “fantastic” interest in it.

WHEN you think of Mumbles do you think of the Mumbles Mile, a Joe’s icecream on the prom, or a spot of shopping on Newton Road?

The Oyster Wharf development (see main story) could change perceptions of Mumbles, a traders’ group spokesman has said.

Paul Whittaker, of Mumbles Traders’ Association, said: “From a traders’ point of view, something like this would be a major boost to the area.

“It looks great from along the seafront. It would be a massive change to what people perceive Mumbles to be.”

Mr Whittaker said the seaside community had changed considerably from the notorious Mumbles Mile days, and that something like Oyster Wharf could act as a catalyst.

“Once money gets spent, it seems be like a domino effect,” he said, adding that it could maybe stimulate the redevelopment of the adjacent Oystermouth Square.

Robin Bonham, a director at Mumbles Development Trust, described the Oyster Wharf image as “very impressive”.

Mr Bonham, who said he was speaking in a personal capacity, told the Post: “I think it tidies up an area of Mumbles that needs it.”

But he said he had reservations about no extra parking being provided, and that he felt the authorities should consider expanding the Quarry car park a couple of hundred yards away on Mumbles Road.

Mumbles has seen plenty of planning proposals come to nothing, while others have consent but remain unbuilt.

The new RNLI all-weather lifeboat station at the end of Mumbles Pier is a popular landmark, and all eyes are on the redevelopment of the pier stem, the new boardwalk and associated foreshore scheme.

Artist’s impressions, above and below, of how the facelift will change Mumbles from its present look, left.

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14 comments

  • Gwyddno  |  May 15 2014, 7:01PM

    mikestarwood: Have you ever been in Oystermouth when the tide is full and there's a storm? You might like a bit of salt on your chips but not if it's mixed with gallons of seawater. As for your comment about parked cars, try google maps satellite view of Mumbles Road, Mumbles and come up with a plan that won't upset the traders and residents.

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  • swanseagraham  |  May 15 2014, 3:33PM

    No car parks shouldn't be in such prime locations but all prime locations in and around Swansea & Gower have Council run car parks. If you want to do anything useful and fun then you have to pay through the nose in one of these car parks. Spoils tourism in my opinion

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  • mikestarwood  |  May 15 2014, 3:10PM

    Francis_Dunn - you foresee lots of problems with loyal jack's idea, but these are very easy to solve. People have solved development problems thousands of times more complex. An alternative though would be to just remove the car park and make it an open area. I don't think car parks should be placed in such locations.

    Rate   -1
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  • IanPenclawdd  |  May 15 2014, 1:13AM

    ....while the city centre continues to rot away, well done, Swansea City Council, yet again.

    Rate   -4
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  • Gowerview  |  May 14 2014, 8:58PM

    Positive, well pitched and relatively ambitious plans . Great to see. Hopefully it will get through planning quickly with no complications . Over to you Swansea council..your city's population are watching.

    Rate   9
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  • Gwyddno  |  May 14 2014, 8:01PM

    I agree, Steve, it looks highly promising and if the local Community Council oppose it I'll be surprised in a slightly angry way. The picture that Steve links to is on this page if you click on the right arrow. Click the right arrow again to see what the back of the Tivoli looks like at the moment.

    Rate   7
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  • TaipeiSteve  |  May 14 2014, 7:36PM

    It sounds like a wonderful proposal, just what Mumbles needs to bring some vitality back into the shopping area. I just hope that our Mumbles Community Council doesn't follow its usual style of opposing the scheme just because it is new and outside their narrow concepts. Here is a better artist impression of the scheme: http://tinyurl.com/jw45hmv

    Rate   16
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  • Francis_Dunn  |  May 14 2014, 4:25PM

    loyaljack: The proposed development will be on land already designated as commercial retail. The land in front is owned by the Council and is not designated as commercial retail. It's not Legoland where buildings can be slotted onto a block. There are sewers, drains, gas pipes, electric cables etc., to consider along with all the change of usage and construction problems arising out of your proposal. The plan by Nextcolour Developments will cause inconvenience during construction but nothing like the chaos that your idea would incur. mikestarwood: The restaurant mentioned will be on the top floor of the Tivoli and diners will be able to look across the bay.

    Rate   9
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  • mikestarwood  |  May 14 2014, 2:50PM

    When you go for a meal at one of the new restaurants, you'll have a lovely view of the car park right in front of you. Only in Swansea would they put a car park in such a prime location.

    Rate   -5
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  • loyaljack  |  May 14 2014, 1:29PM

    Why have a car park running along the front of the shops??? Why not put the buildings up to the front of the promenade??

    Rate   -7
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