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Swansea’s popular seafront ice-cream parlour could be demolished and rebuilt

Ripples cafe and ice-cream parlour, West Cross, Swansea (Pic: Richard Youle)

NEW plans have been submitted to redevelop a garage and seafront ice-cream parlour site in West Cross.

The landowner wants to demolish West Cross Garage, which faces Mumbles Road, and the adjoining Ripples cafe, which faces onto the promenade.

A previous application to knock the two businesses down and build a four-bedroom house in their place led to 1,174 letters of objection and was turned down by Swansea Council planning officers.

Now landowner and applicant David Morgan plans to build a new ice cream parlour where Ripples is currently as part of a three-storey building featuring a two-bedroom flat set above. The garage, though, would not be rebuilt.

West Cross Garage, which could be demolished, pictured after it had closed for the day (Pic: Richard Youle)

The strength of feeling last time round about the potential loss of Ripples was acknowledged in a planning statement submitted on behalf of Mr Morgan. “Given the overwhelming community support this application seeks to improve the existing ice-cream parlour,” it said.

The statement went on say that the garage was in an attractive residential area, close to a busy road and without enough parking, therefore making it an “inappropriate location”. It said the loss of the garage would lead to the loss of two jobs but that additional ones would be created at the rebuilt ice-cream parlour, resulting a net gain of four full and part-time jobs. The statement said there were four garages in Mumbles, Newton and Murton, although one of them appears to be a tyre-fitting service.

According to the plans, which aim to overcome four previous grounds for refusal, the new building would enhance the character and appearance of the area. Two parking spaces have been earmarked for the flat and one for the ice-cream parlour, which would be open seven days a week from 8.30am to 8.30pm.

The owners of West Cross Garage said in a message on Facebook that the garage was a vital business, and they encouraged people to support them. Dennis Dwyer, the operator of Ripples, where ice-cream is made from milk and cream from Pembrokeshire, has leased his half of the building for more than 20 years. Speaking in December 2022, Mr Dwyer said: “We don’t want to move. It’s a lovely spot, and we feel we’re a community asset.”