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Watersports centre details are revealed.

Byline: tom houghton Reporter tom.houghton@walesonline.co.uk

FRESH details have emerged about Porthcawl's proposed new watersports centre and cafe as plans are set to be approved - but the project faces opposition.

The plans, set for Rest Bay, would see the building replace Malc's Cafe, which would be demolished.

If approved, the two-storey development would house a "centre for excellence" for watersports used by clubs, associations and private sector operators, with ground floor public toilets and changing rooms, as well as a new cafe/bistro and function room space.

The plans, which include a covered area for dog walkers and small retail units, are set to be approved by Bridgend council's development control committee today.

The council report, which will be considered by councillors, concludes: "The application is recommended for approval because the development complies with council policy and guidelines and does not adversely affect the character of the area and Special Landscape Area or adversely affect the privacy or visual amenities nor so significantly harms neighbours' amenities, ecology, highway safety or the setting of a listed building to warrant refusal."

But the project has been subject to a number of complaints including from the Porthcawl Civic Trust Society and Rest Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.

Their objections include "the design and building materials [...] are totally out of accord with the character of the area including The Rest and lifeguard station and the development fails to enhance the environmental uniqueness of the special landscape area". They also objected that there is a lack of storage at the club and concern over proposed designs and its use as a centre of excellence for watersports.

Complaints from nearby residents include the visual impact of the development, congested car parking and access for their cars or the emergency services, as well as noise and disturbance late at night.

But the report says it "is not considered" the building will give rise to vandalism or increased overnight activity, that loss of view and devaluation of properties are not considerations for planners and that it is 25m from the nearest home - "sufficient not to have an unacceptable impact on the residential amenities".

If approved, the watersports centre and cafe will be built on the existing Malc's Cafe site and toilet block, which sits on a plateau overlooking Locks Common and Rest Bay.

It will measure 7.3m in height with a curved feature roof, and will be constructed with limestone and timber clad doors and solar panels on the roof. The entire building will cover 480sq m over the two storeys with an entrance lobby, three units, a retail kiosk, storage unit, changing room, toilet facilities, plant room and bin store on the ground floor. On the first floor will be a cafe, function room, kitchen, toilets and a front balcony terrace area.

Access to the site would be via an improved link from the car park and from the coastal path. The plans also include a new pedestrian crossing with new concrete steps and footpaths.

It has been recommended for approval by councillors, subject to conditions including that work does not take place outside the hours of 9am and 9pm Monday - Saturday, and that it will not begin until more details about the exact design and boundaries of the building have been agreed.

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The integrated watersports centre and cafe planned for Rest Bay in Porthcawl
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 17, 2017
Words:563
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