AFTER years of delays and stoppages, construction work has finally started on the redevelopment of iconic Penarth seafront property Beachcliff.

And the developer says an agreement has been reached with a Michelin-starred chef to open a fine dining restaurant on the ground floor, seating up to 95 people.

Designed by Cardiff-based John Wotton Architects, the £6 million project will see the construction of a new building, recreating the look of the original Edwardian property – of which only the two towers remain.

The Esplanade development will house four luxury seafront homes - ranging in size from 4,500 sq ft to 8,500 sq ft. The ground floor will also accommodate a wine bar and a cafe.

Dogged by problems, the delays in the project have left many local residents frustrated by the lack of progress.

But workmen were back on site on Monday (January 7), with the developer behind the scheme - Richard Hayward - said to be hopeful of an “uninterrupted construction period” until completion later this year.

He admitted the start of construction had been a long time coming.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to overcome the various issues we have encountered and it is great to see the building start to come out of the ground,” he said.

“Weather permitting we should now have an uninterrupted construction period, which will see the building completed later this year.”

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services at the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said he was also pleased to see work set to commence.

“I am very much aware that there has been a great deal of concern expressed, given delays in the project, and the Council very much shared that concern,” he added.

“We will continue to work with the developer and do all we can to ensure that the scheme is a success and contributes positively to the role of the Esplanade.”

Two of the four houses have been sold, with two remaining, and agent Savills said they had had “considerable interest” from a number of potential buyers.

Mr Hayward added: “We are creating something truly unique and Beachcliff will be one of the most prestigious addresses in South Wales. “As we expected, we have had a huge amount of interest in the homes – particularly from high-profile individuals.”

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