Wales

Mumbles Pier plan backed by defiant Swansea councillors

Artist impression of proposed Mumbles Pier redevelopment Image copyright Amerco
Image caption An artist's impression of the proposed hotel and flats

Swansea councillors have backed a £35m plan to develop Mumbles Pier despite the Welsh Government warning it may want to have the final say.

Restoration work has already been given the go-ahead, but plans for a hotel, flats and shops have been put on hold.

Some residents claim they will spoil the view, but pier owners say they are integral to the attraction's future.

The Welsh Government has 21 days to intervene, but one cabinet member said it should be a council decision.

Following a letter last week from the Welsh Government's planning directorate, Swansea council was told not to grant full permission to the scheme without the prior authorisation of ministers.

However, all 12 councillors on the planning committee backed the proposals at a meeting earlier.

Cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: "I believe it's wrong for the Welsh Government to intervene.

"This is a local matter and should be considered by the local authority."

Image caption Restoration work on Mumbles Pier has already been given the go-ahead

Desmond Thomas, who represents the neighbouring West Cross ward, claimed people in Mumbles always opposed new developments, accusing some of wanting the area to "remain as a retirement village".

But Myles Langstone, councillor for Oystermouth, claimed the application had been rushed and he had "significant and substantial correspondence" from constituents opposed to the plan.

Members of the Mumbles Action Group fear flats will spoil a "wonderful view" at the 120-year-old pier and believe attractions such as a lido would be better for visitors.

Reacting to the council's support, pier owners Ameco said they were "very pleased".

"We have worked in partnership with Swansea council to deliver a sustainable future for Mumbles Pier," Ameco said in a statement.

"We now wait to see if the Welsh Government shares their vision for a brighter way forward for the region."

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