QUERIES AND CONCERNS.
Rhos-on-Sea – It has been good to see that the railings along the sea front have had a ‘lick’ of paint. However, walking towards Colwyn Bay, by the time one has reached the kiosk by the Cayley embankment, the new paintwork stops and the uprights of the railings seem to have had no treatment what-so-ever !
Well done to the business people of Rhos-on-Sea . Their craft displays each Tuesday through the summer added colour and interest to what is already a charming and attractive shopping and tourist area. The weather many Tuesdays was not on their side – but they were not to be put off – even a local brass band brought music to the streets. I hope it has been found to be all worthwhile for them.
It was good to see the children making full use of the paddling pool and other attractions at Rhos Point and ,thankfully, the toilets stayed open – this is a must, they must always be available and improved to ensure our children and visitors are never offered run-down, unhealthy attractions and facilities. The improvement of the sand beach in this area was appreciated by many. I was upset to read in the local press that some amongst us could not resist damaging some of the newly planted fruit trees on land behind the Rhos Fynach Tavern. However, a look round on Sunday September 4th gave me heart – the damage was not as bad as expected and, given time, nature will repair herself.
Rhos Point – such a valuable site , – During the summer private enterprise has kept the site active, with fishing trips and all connected with fishing on offer, also kayaks for sale or hire. Alongside is the sorry site of the Rhos Bistro building – is it undergoing partial demolition and what is the future for this building ? The site, as a whole , has tremendous potential. The Weekly News of July suggested that Councillors for Rhos were arguing over Rhos Point’s development . The last paragraph of the article told us that Conwy County Council had agreed that officers meet local members to discuss Rhos. An improved harbour and floating jetty would help improve matters for those who enjoy the sea and fishing . But, Rhos Point is the focal point and our councillors should put their heads together to plan ways of making the most of this valuable and vital asset.. Perhaps Councillors Parry and Thomas could address the Civic Society on the progress they have made so far on this important matter.
Pumping Station, Church Road. – In July the Weekly News offered the public a chance to win £1000. Developers Macbryde Homes offered this sum to the winner of a competition suggesting the best use of the pumping station. Their original plan to convert to offices had not received much interest. Suggestions for a restaurant, gym, an adventure play-centre or community centre have already been considered. If looking at this Grade 2 listed example of Edwardian architecture with a view to entering the competition it is difficult. The building is surrounded by eight foot high fencing and hoardings. I would suggest to Messrs Macbryde that the site be opened up , with a representative present for a short period ,to allow interested competitors to look round and examine the facilities and possibilities .
The Aberhod Old Hall, Rhos Promenade. – The owners of this Restaurant made head-line news by declaring that plans had been lodged to convert the building , dating back to the 1780’s, into three homes and add three additional properties to the site. The Restaurant has been popular for many years and I am reluctant to see the authorities approve a " change of use " – and in addition attempt to put too many buildings on this site ,which carries so much heritage, and is in such a prominent position.
Colwyn Bay Pier – The saga continues unabated ! The Colwyn Bay Civic Society is being pressed to issue a statement on it’s stance concerning the pier. In April all members were asked to complete a simple questionnaire sent to them. – "Should Colwyn Bay Pier remain " Yes or No. "
Of 167 members there were 86 replies.
Result :-. Yes – 18. No – 68 No reply – 81
This supported the view of the President that the pier should be demolished. Some Executive committee members thought the alternative had not yet been fully and thoroughly assessed and we should await results of current investigations. Writing this in early September I am prompted to make the following observations :-
The pier – what a mess ! – both legally and physically. ( and it’s ownership – that’s questionable too )
The Trustees have abandoned it as an asset- after three years in their possession.
The owner ? Mr Hunt ? He still keeps claiming he has invested £1million in the pier and intends to get that back (fat chance !)
The owner ? The Crown Estates ? According to the Pioneer of August 31st Conwy County Council solicitors have been given permission to negotiate a purchase of the pier. I have just one question – "Who holds the deeds ?" I would suggest the pier be bought for a nominal sum, knowing that huge sums of money are needed either to Repair or Demolish it. Then send a referendum to all Council tax payers, domestic and business, to ask , as the Civic Society did, Yea or Nay ?
Post Office building, Princes Drive. – The Weekly News reported on July 7th that this proud and magnificent building ( sadly greatly underused ) may be vacated. A feasibility study is to go ahead to determine whether or not to close the Colwyn Bay sorting office and parcel collection point and merge with the Llandudno office for economic reasons. This would leave the building vacant and there are rumours that a quality developer is waiting for this to happen. With Colwyn Bay being the subject of much redevelopment, perhaps giving this fine building another ‘raison d’etre’ would not be a bad thing. It would certainly be sad to see it empty and un-cared for, as has become the case of the old indoor Market and the Imperial Hotel – both prime sites ,becoming very unsightly aspects of our town and close to the recently expensively refurbished Station Road and Penrhyn Road.
On the other hand – as I write these notes one cannot help a feeling of excitement and anticipation as projects in Eirias Park and on the sea front are making such progress and also the refurbished Theatre Colwyn will soon be up and running, – 2012 will be an interesting year in the town.
Finally, – words of thanks and appreciation to the County Parks and Gardens Department along with the many businesses who brought success , yet again, to the Wales in Bloom Competitions. – Queens Gardens in particular is always a pleasure to behold and is one of our area’s gardens to receive the prestigious Green Flag Award.
Remember that the Colwyn Bay Civic Society has all aspects of Colwyn Bay and it’s surrounding districts at heart and we are always happy to hear your views – Let us have them.