Luxury LifeStyle – The spectacular sea views from the final phase of the conversion of Porthcawl coastal landmark into dream homes
The final phase of the stunning transformation of a former convalescent home and hotel on the cliff top at one of Wales’ most popular coastal towns is underway, and the first batch of newly created luxury homes have just been made available.
The Grade II listed Victorian former rest home that sits above Rest Bay on the coastline at Porthcawl has been a familiar sight for decades for thousands of people who have regularly made the trip to the sweeping sands of the beach below.
Along with the cafe at the car park, the handsome and huge house has been a distinctive part of the local landscape, overlooking surfers, sunbathers and golfers on the world-famous Royal Porthcawl Golf Club course that sprawls along the coast next to the building.
According to the website British Listed Buildings, prior to the majestic building that now lords it over its surroundings, there were two cottages, but plans to construct a purpose-built convalescent home began 1869 and were supported by Florence Nightingale.
The clifftop site was donated by the Talbot family of Margam in 1874 for the new structure.
This handsome building was designed by John Pritchard with the elevated coastal location at the core of his plans.
The website states that the mansion was specifically designed to withstand its exposed position by projecting buttresses and overhanging eaves and with all external walls lined with brick to reduce water penetration.
As it was a property to house the recovering sick, good ventilation and heating were imperative, with the original building said to have 50 fireplaces to do the job.
Opened in 1877, the first former patients to arrive at the building called The Rest were survivors of the Ty Newydd Colliery disaster.
Over the years, when funding allowed, the main building was extended with additional wings being built, one of which was constructed in 1909 and included hot and cold sea-water baths.
As the site expanded it became an auxiliary hospital during both world wars and achieved its Grade II listing from Cadw in 1998 for ‘its unique role in south Wales industrial history, as a specially important welfare building conceived and sustained by local philanthropy and as an example of the work of three important south Wales architects’.
In 1998 the building was still operating as a rest home and, prior to its closure, the building was a holiday hotel for older people and a base for a charity supporting service personnel suffering with mental health challenges.
Take a drone flight over the site:
But when it closed in 2013 it was abandoned and many local residents who loved the building, or had a personal connection to it, were fearful for its future.
It fell silent and started to decay at its lonely, isolated location.
However, it was this coastal location that was the saving of this unique building.
Bought in 2016 for a reported sum of around £4m by Acorn Property Group, the building came with planning consent initially for apartments.
Work began almost immediately to convert the site via two phases. Phase one was inside the original building to create 35 homes comprising studios and one, two and three bedroom apartments.
Phase two is an additional development of 36 one, two and three bed new-builds that have now been named The 18th, as a homage to some of these dwellings looking out over the neighbouring famous golf course.
Since being handed the keys to the site, Cardiff-based Intelle Construction have been working on the development to complete the first phase of the building which is now virtually all sold to happy house hunters.
Phase two is now in full construction with a number of the units already released for sale, and the new show home launching on May 14 will illustrate to potential buyers the luxury level of finish a new abode here will offer.
Coupled with CGI images of the new, glamorous homes, the show home can show off the designs that offer luxury living continually accompanied by amazing coast and country views through huge windows.
This final phase of homes at the former convalescent home is a collection of new-build apartments overlooking extensive green space with close access to the beautifully landscaped courtyard, but also benefitting from private outside space in the form of a balcony or terrace.
There are also a limited number of duplex-style three bedroom homes which offer a range of internal layouts to complement the apartment choice for anyone tempted to come and live by the seaside but prefers two-level living.
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The new show home sits within the listed building and has been designed and styled by leading interior design practice, Clayton & Company, part of Jane Clayton who have over 40 years of experience.
The team working on The Links wanted to create a unique sense of place and found inspiration all around them, and who better to inspire them than mother nature and the robust building sitting in amongst the natural beauty?
Chloe Simpson, senior design project manager at Clayton & Company says: “It was a joy to work on The 18th at The Links: the location, the combination of listed and new buildings and the planned site landscaping, all combined to give a real ‘feel’ for the palette and themes that naturally fitted. The coastal location is super and provides an ever changing vista throughout the year.”
She says the architecture, listed and new, provided a gentle palette of stone and grey, which gave way to the accents of the coastal path greenery and the rocks and water of the bay beyond, providing inspiration for not only colour but texture.
The airy, subtle, sumptuous décor echoes its beach and coastal location, with sculptural pieces and art reminiscent of natural textures and driftwood greys.
In a word; gorgeous.
The beaches of Porthcawl have always been popular with local residents and people visiting from all over the region and it was the town’s vibe, as well as the location and history of the building, that made Acorn make an offer to buy, transform and ultimate save The Rest from eventual dereliction.
James Groombridge, Regional Managing Director of Acorn’s Cardiff office said: “Rest Bay is a stunning location and The Links is exceptionally well placed to take maximum advantage of views over the bay and across to the sea.
“But Porthcawl has long been a popular seaside location, with quite a history, and is exceptionally well known in south Wales.
“Rest Bay in contrast is smaller and not so well known, except perhaps by select board and kite surfers and golfers, but this is changing – we received a number of pre-launch enquiries from the North of England, the Midlands and London.”
And James’ opinion is borne out by Porthcawl recently being named as one of the UK’s top 21 towns to relocate to by The Telegraph.
James states that the area has good broadband connectivity too, saying providers are offering services ranging from around 10 mb to over 35mb, so working from home could be a great option, providing the beach is not too much of a distraction to take your concentration away from work – a glorious distraction indeed.
For further information about the units available at The 18th at The Links, contact estate agent Savills at their Cardiff office on 029 2036 8903 or Peter Alan, Porthcawl on 01656 771600.
Luxury LifeStyle - The spectacular sea views from the final phase of the conversion of Porthcawl coastal landmark into dream homes
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