Amenities at one of Wales’ best beaches to be redeveloped as ‘more and more people’ head there
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
It is one of Wales’s best beaches, but the kiosk-type shops and toilets at Oxwich in South Gower are showing their age.
But that could change due with a renovation proposed by the landowner.
The scheme would involve extending the largest of the four beach buildings, which currently serves fish and chips, drinks, ice cream and buckets and spades, to accommodate a pizza oven and larger stock room.
It would be clad in timber boarding, like the nearby Beach House Restaurant, and have an enclosed canopy at the front.
Another of the buildings – a smaller kiosk shop – would be also be clad in timber, while a former toilet block would be knocked down and rebuilt as another timber-clad small shop.
That leaves the existing toilet block, which would be refurbished or even rebuilt but remain as toilets while matching the look of the other buildings.
Sheltered from the worst of the westerly gales, the one-and-a-half mile beach stretches to Tor Bay. At the rear are dunes, woods, cliffs, and salt and freshwater marshes.
A design statement submitted as part of a pre-application enquiry by Thomas Methuen-Campbell, of the Penrice Estate, said the Oxwich buildings are believed to date from the 1960s.
“Whilst they have served their purpose over the years it is now recognised that they do not reach the visual standards expected for buildings located on one of the best beaches in the UK in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB),” it said.
More and more people were heading to Oxwich beach, it added, and the canopy area proposed for the larger shop would benefit winter visitors particularly.
The report also said the project would enable the Penrice Estate to offer staff extended employment during the year.
Swansea Council’s planning department said the scheme broadly complied with the relevant Gower design guide but that more detail would be required at the full planning stage.
An Oxwich resident has expressed concerns though, arguing that catering for visitors could be dealt with by the Beach House Restaurant.
His comments to the planning department said: “The present large shop and small shop are ugly structures unlikely to be improved with timber cladding – simply replacing one ugly structure with a series timber shacks/sheds won’t help the ambience of Oxwich or the coastline.”