Bridgend council has moved forward with its plans to regenerate Porthcawl waterfront by approving plans to market land at Salt Lake to food store developers.
During a meeting held on Tuesday September 15, Bridgend County Borough Council’s cabinet allowed officers to start advertising land at Salt Lake Car Park to potential developers as part of its plan to build a supermarket there.
Cabinet member for education and regeneration, councillor Charles Smith, said the decision marked “an exciting milestone” in the regeneration of Porthcawl.
Head of operations for community services Zak Shell said: “It’s been a long time in the making. Officers are now able to move this project on which is good to see.”
The council aims to finish marketing the two-acre site at Salt Lake, known locally as the Green, to food store developers by the end of this year. It hopes the cabinet will be able to make a final decision on which store will be developed there in early 2021.
Work on the plans began after the end of a decades-long deadlock between leaseholders – two local families – and the landowners Bridgend council.
In 2017, Bridgend council agreed to pay £3.33m for Salt Lake Car Park. The development marks the first stage in the regeneration of Porthcawl.
Funds obtained by the food store development will be reinvested into infrastructure improvements and further stages of the town’s regeneration plans, including improvements to John Street car park.
Later phases include building houses next to the new store, improving Hillsboro Car Park, a leisure scheme near the marina, a hotel and additional housing on the seafront.
The council plans to use capital receipts from the development of the food store site to fund work on Hillsboro Car Park, including resurfacing the area and improving the layout.
To reduce the risk of flooding to the new housing site, a series of coastal protection improvements will also be carried out.
Land at Coney Beach and Sandy Bay will also be developed as part of the town’s regeneration including the extension of Griffin Park, a new roundabout and access road, new residential and commercial properties and a new school.
Council Leader Huw David said the regeneration of Porthcawl will make the town “a welcoming and important destination”.
He also said the council “looking at ensuring any housing on the site is as green as it possibly can be” and features the “lowest carbon emissions through energy use”.
Cllr Smith said: “Since the council took action to remove a development deadlock on Salt Lake, momentum has been continuing to gather and we are now at the stage where we can actively start looking for a high-quality developer who can provide the food store that will act as a vital first step towards delivering sustainable, long-lasting regeneration.”
The Labour councillor added: “We have a range of public realm works and ambitious plans in place for how land will be used in the Salt Lake, Coney Beach and Sandy Bay waterfront areas, and I am looking forward to seeing them develop as we set about delivering the regeneration for the people of Porthcawl.”
The council is currently negotiating with the owners of small landholdings at Coney Beach and Sandy Bay. If an agreement is not reached, the local authority may obtain the land under the under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The act gives the council the power to acquire land for the purpose of development, redevelopment or improvement or to achieve the interests of the proper planning of the area.