New future for landmark Mumbles building
The former coastguard station near Mumbles Head could be in line for a new lease of life.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is looking into the idea of a new use for the landmark building, which is within the Gower Area of Outsanding Natural Beauty.
For decades coastguard officers kept an eye on the Bristol Channel from the station at Tutt Head, Bracelet Bay, from where they coordinated numerous searches and rescues.
But the maritime rescue and coordination centre was closed four years ago amid a controversial shake-up of the UK coastguard network.
It is currently used as offices for the MCA, but a pre-application enquiry submitted to Swansea Council could herald a change.
The MCA is investigating uses including hotel, food and drink, residential, care home, and offices.
An MCA spokeswoman said it had nothing definite in mind at present, and added: “The pre-application is purely exploratory.”
It’s early days, with Swansea planning officers describing the location as sensitive and saying that any potential development must not significantly impact on the landscape or seascape.
They added: “Notwithstanding this, some elements of the multi-faceted proposal do offer the potential for a new tourism facility that can capitalise on the county’s distinctive assets and enhance Swansea Bay as a year-round destination.”
Officers also pointed out that parking is only available at the nearby pay and display car park at Bracelet Bay.
In conclusion they said: “Whilst the principal of changing the use of this building can be considered acceptable, it will depend on the nature of the proposals.”
Last December the owners of the adjacent Castellamare restaurant and cafe submitted a pre-application enquiry which proposed demolishing the building and replacing it with a wedding venue, spa hotel and cafe.
Speaking at the time, joint owner Christian Di Iulio stressed no immediate changes were planned.
He added: “We know there is a demand for quality rooms in the area and we’re trying to tap into that. We’re also looking at a wedding venue as it is an exciting and fantastic location.
“We’re not planning on doing anything for the next couple of years, we’re happy as we are for now.”
Also last December, the owners of Mumbles Pier and foreshore secured planning consent for a £35 million scheme including flats, a headland building, revamped pavilion and new boardwalk.
The Welsh Government had intervened in the planning process, but decided not to call in the application, which had been approved by the council’s planning committee.