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Council criticised for waiting two years before submitting plans for new kiosks

Conwy County Council

FED-UP residents have criticised Conwy Council for waiting until now to apply to its own planning department for two new seaside kiosks in Rhos-on-Sea, despite work to revamp the prom starting two years ago.

Plans for the new kiosks will be debated at a planning committee meeting at the council’s Bodlondeb HQ on Wednesday (February 14) after the old kiosks were demolished.

Conwy Council started its £14m Welsh Government-funded work to revamp the prom in 2022 when the council closed the road beneath the Cayley Embankment for work to prepare for its controversial new one-way system.

The work includes improved sea defences with an enhanced sandy beach and a revamp of the promenade.

But now residents say they are sick of the ongoing work and can’t believe the council has only just applied to its own planning department for permission to build the new kiosks.

Rhos-on-Sea resident Melvyn Bates said: “The work on Cayley Promenade started June 2022 with a promised completion date of June 2023.

“It is now mid-February 2024, and the work is still not completed.

“It has been announced in the media the one-way road eastbound will be open to cars this week.

“The kiosks and shelters have not been started.

“The wonderful Conwy Council have not as yet applied for permission to build the kiosks, a complete cock up!”

Council officers have advised the planning committee they are “minded to grant” conditional approval for the new kiosks as part of phase 2B of the Colwyn Bay flood defence and public realm improvements.

But Welsh Water have indicated they need access to the sewers and have requested a detailed plan of the new kiosks.

Rhos-on-Sea councillor Jo Nutall criticised the council for not thinking the plans through, explaining the designs were not what was originally envisaged.

“They wanted to go for something like the Horizon Shine Café, but they can’t because there are sewers underneath there,” she said.

“It is short-sighted of the council because they should have known that was there in the first instance.

“So what they are having to do is bring in these main structures and bolt them down, so it (the kiosks) is not going to be as we wanted it.
“We are having to suck it up a bit.”

When asked if Conwy should have gained planning permission before starting to build them, Cllr Nuttall responded: “They haven’t started building the kiosks. Well, they have off site.”

The two new kiosks will have unisex disabled toilets, baby changing facilities, and a storeroom.

The development will create two full-time and four part-time jobs.

A Conwy County Council spokeswoman said: “Most of the promenade path and the new facilities are already available for the public to use.

“Our contractors have told us they expect to open the promenade road to vehicles this week.

“They’re working to connect power to the new substations to make the street lighting operational.

“There will still be some snagging work to be done over the next few weeks and work to add the new kiosks and shelters will continue over the next few months.

“We have already submitted designs for the replacement kiosks to the planning department.”

The regeneration work is part of the wider Colwyn Bay flood defence scheme, split into three distinct aspects: coastal works, public realm promenade improvements, and landscaping works.

The Welsh Government-funded scheme incorporates improved coastal defences with promenade regeneration.