Seafront sorry saga
9:01am Thursday 29th August 2013 in Penarth news
I AM writing in support of the letter ‘Recipe for Disaster’ (Penarth Times, August 15) where John Guy called on town and borough councillors to make the seafront a priority and ensure the sorry saga that is the Beachcliff development gets sorted out by next summer.
I absolutely agree with everything John Guy says in his letter and boy, do I share his frustrations.
I think it’s is outrageous that some small-minded, vision-less, tardy developers have been able to hold the businesses and residents of Penarth to ransom and singlehandedly cause the seafront of Penarth to be blighted for so many years. This is the third summer that Penarth seafront has been rendered a complete disaster area with an ugly façade hiding the crumbling remains of the beautiful building that was Beachcliff. I was so upset to see that building first, neglected and then, demolished and (like many other residents) frustrated by the impotence of the local councils, to do anything about it. Those developing the Penarth Pier Pavilion and those who have developed the Old Methodist Church on Albert Road have shown how property development in Penarth should be undertaken.
All this talk of the ‘new’ Beachcliff development having a ‘high-end’ restaurant, a boutique hotel, a gym, bespoke and ‘executive’ houses - these guys do not have a clue. Can they not see how their continued delay and prevarication at the site leaves Penarth seafront a mess and somewhere fewer people want to visit to spend money in their new or other people’s existing, businesses? If I owned a business on Penarth’s seafront I’d be exploring my rights to sue these developers for the loss of earnings they must surely have endured as a result of having a major building site festering on their doorstep for so many years.
How ironic it is that in the same edition of the Penarth Times as John Guy’s letter, the headline, front page story was about Penarth being a ‘property hotspot’. Well, it won’t be for much longer if we don’t act quickly and look after the town’s major assets; recognising that the seafront and the tree lined streets, along with good schools, clean air, parks, a full range of shops/bars/restaurants, good transport links and attractive, well-kept housing are what draw people to live in Penarth. The economy and well-being of Penarth is I believe, directly affected by the state of the seafront. It’s high time we looked after the jewel in Penarth’s crown and hurried the property developers who are unable or unwilling, to join in that quest – right out of town.