Plans for Ocean Plaza development go on display


Stephanie Price

SCALED-down plans for the multi-million pound Ocean Plaza development were shown to the public for the first time this week.

Developers have said they want to start work as soon as possible after planning permission is granted but the plans have been described as lacking ambition.

More than 120 people turned up to the drop in session held in Rhyl Town Hall to view proposals which were submitted late last year by Scarborough Developments.

They include plans for a hotel, cafe, restaurant, family pub, a supermarket and shops, an open square and car parking.

The plans have been down sized from the previous submission as part of the site has been kept by Denbighshire Council.

A spokesperson for Scarborough said: “The original plan included the car park site because the intention, at that time, was for it to be included in the proposals. Unfortunately the council and Scarborough could not agree on the land value and so the piece of land is now not included in the scheme.”

After seven years of hold ups, residents who attended the session said they are keen for work to start on site.

Scarborough's development director Lee Savage said: “We want to get started and on site as soon as we possibly can but in regards to planning status we are in the hands of the planning committee.

“This is a good scheme that has been designed so it can be delivered in phases and as soon as possible. We want to help improve the physical appearance side of Rhyl as well as the economic side.”

It is estimated the plans will bring in 300 full and part time jobs along with construction jobs during the development phases, and Scarborough have said they would look to engage with the local supply chain where ever possible.

Scarborough said feedback from the meeting shows that 69 per cent of respondents were in favour of the plans, 22 per cent were against and 9 per cent were undecided.

Allan Mitchley, who owns a guest house on the seafront and attended the drop in session, said: “I understand they want to get the site up and running but we do not need another super market – this is out of line with what the public wants.”

Local shop owner, Jacquie McAlpine said: “I like the plans and think they’re fantastic. The scheme will bring in more jobs – people keep talking about bringing tourists into the town but we need to start looking after locals first, there’s a lot of people who can’t find jobs.”

West Rhyl councillor, Joan Butterfield, said: “This just seems to be a paper exericise. The pictures and presentation is wonderful but there is no substance at the moment as there are no developers nibbling at the bait.

“I feel that Rhyl is worth a lot more than a supermarket, and we just need to have some more ambition in our town.

“We’re all very excited about the hotel. Budget hotels are the flavour of the month at the moment and I think they are sustainable in seaside resorts.

“One dramatic difference about these plans is that there will be a substation on site. This has been a bone of contention as the electricty capacity in Rhyl is not robust enough to supply a site like this.

“This could be a very beautiful site because of it’s location however, I’m tremendously anxious that we dont give carte blanche planning permission.”

Denbighshire Council 's planning committee is set to discuss the plans later this year.

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