Future of historic 140-year-old attraction will be at "risk" if Pavilion development goes ahead, says Llandudno pier owner

Reporter:

Suzanne Kendrick

THE future of a historic attraction and more than 200 jobs will be at risk if a residential development is given the go ahead, says the owner of Llandudno pier. 

Councillors will meet next Wednesday (December 13) to vote on plans for a new look Pier Pavilion site which promises 48 luxury apartments and restaurants.

However, Adam Williams said he fears the pier will be in “jeopardy” if the plans are given the go-ahead.

Mr Williams, managing director of Tir Prince Leisure Group who purchased Llandudno pier in 2015 for £4.5million, said: “There are many good reasons to oppose the Pavilion planning application, but the biggest one is undoubtedly the potentially catastrophic impact it would have if the pier is forced to close.

“Over 75 per cent of the pier’s revenue is taken at the entrance, but this would be in serious jeopardy if residents complain about noise disturbance and such like.

“The pier would be totally unviable as a tourist attraction if traders were forced to close down or suffer the consequences of reduced opening hours. Over 200 people are employed at the pier and those jobs would be at risk.

“Without a thriving Llandudno Pier, the town of Llandudno would fall off the tourist map of North Wales with a devastating knock-on effect for every business dependent upon the tourism industry for their livelihoods.”

A new report looking at the economic impact of the famous pier reveals the importance of the landmark to tourism in Conwy.

The research, carried out by MOR, Ministry of Results, during April and August 2017, reveals that over six million people visit the Grade II-listed pier every year contributing more than £390million to the local economy.

At 2,295 feet (700 metres) the pier it is the longest pier in Wales. In 2005, it was voted Pier of the Year. Last year it was voted third.

Developer Alan Waldron has submitted proposals for 54 high-quality apartments. In revised plans, released in October, proposals include two restaurant spaces. These have been scaled down to make way for a larger public atrium - featuring a walkway from the pier through to Happy Valley Road.

Speaking in October, Mr Waldron said: “We revisited the proposals following feedback and are very happy with the new plans.

“We have softened it a little and the design is more contemporary and iconic, embracing the landscape and the pier’s surroundings.

“The architects and I have listened to what the public and partner organisations have said and really appreciate their input and support.”

Mr Williams said the “mood in the town is squarely against the Pavilion plans”. 

He added:  “Not least because of the scale of the proposed development which will dominate the skyline and totally obscure the views of a number of existing properties and guest houses in the immediate area.

“At no stage has the developer sought to engage us with the result that his plans are incomplete in areas that directly affect the pier. The building process alone is likely to damage the pier both commercially and structurally.

“The economic impact report provides the hard data to demonstrate why the application is wrong for Llandudno and why the planning committee should reject it when it is discussed on December 13.”

Tir Prince has since invested a further £1million in improving the facility and general maintenance.

Mr Williams said: “When I bought the pier, I bought it as a long-term investment. My view is that you never really own something as historic and loved as Llandudno Pier, you are more of a custodian.

“Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ensure the pier remains a thriving attraction and, one day, to pass it on to my own children. The pier is not merely a tourist attraction, it is part of the fabric of North Wales.”

A site visit will take place on December 12 ahead of the council meeting on the 13.

Email:

suzanne.kendrick@nwn.co.uk

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