Porthcawl's maritime centre plan wins approval

Proposed Porthcawl Harbourside development - revised 2018 Image copyright Credu Charity Ltd
Image caption The redesigned main building (grey, centre) is not as close to the Esplanade wall as first planned

Revamped plans for a maritime centre in a seaside town have been given the green light by councillors after an earlier version was scaled back.

The £5.5m complex proposes a coastal science and discovery centre, cafe, wine bar and microbrewery for Porthcawl's Cosy Corner site.

A report approved by Bridgend councillors on Thursday said it would transform the harbourside.

The original £7m project went over the spending cap for European funding.

Project backers said the new plan would need European and lottery funding.

Council planning officers said permission would be a vital step in being able to secure the cash, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Cosy Corner was once the site of a cinema, skating rink and paddling pool

The main building will also include space for the Sea Cadets, the Welsh Surfing Federation, the harbourmaster's offices and the armed forces charity, SSAFA.

The new proposal replaces the previously approved idea of a building with three towers and large amounts of curved glass which was closer to the Esplanade wall.

The site will also include an outdoor performance space with seating.

Image copyright Credu Charity Ltd
Image caption An artist's impression of the project, said to be vital to the regeneration of Porthcawl

A report to councillors on Bridgend's development control committee said the aim was to establish the harbourside in Porthcawl as "a prime destination for all-weather and year-round maritime activities whilst providing business, educational, cultural and health and well-being benefits to the south coast of Wales".

Bridgend council owns the site, which will be leased to Credu, the charity behind the development.

A memorial to the 47 victims of the Samtampa tragedy of 1947 - in which a ship ran aground at nearby Sker Point during a gale - is also proposed.

Officers said many residents supported the community benefits offered by the scheme, but some businesses claimed the complex would obstruct their views and increase traffic congestion.

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