Jennings Building Porthcawl

Sensitive restoration of the landmark Jennings building 

Tetra Tech Planning coordinated planning delivery and listed building consent for restoring the abandoned historic building, the Jennings.

As Wales’ oldest maritime warehouse built in 1832, the historic Jennings Building had many uses before its abandonment on Porthcawl’s seafront. Tetra Tech Planning in Cardiff coordinated planning delivery and listed building consent to bring the Jennings back into public use as a vibrant mixed-use facility with new premises for local businesses that inspire further regeneration initiatives.

Fulfilling the aspirations of both client and local authority, the scheme has delivered notable economic and social benefits while respecting the building’s rich history, winning the award for Regeneration at the RICS Wales Awards 2018.

Collaborative working

The Bridgend County Borough Council wanted to re-forge the derelict Jennings into a high-quality building of technical innovation that simultaneously champions a sense of community and contributes to Porthcawl’s economy.

To that end, the Jennings demonstrates what can be achieved on a short timescale by an established team engaging positively with local interests and regional authorities. Throughout the land transaction and statutory planning processes, Tetra Tech collaborated closely with the developer (ABA Holdings) and the design team (Ellis Williams Architects) to further enable innovative approaches to achieving a high-quality conversion.

Sustainability and heritage

As a central project in the Porthcawl Townscape Heritage Initiative, the scheme not only brought the Jennings site back into active use but secured a positive future via new roof insulation and high-specification double glazing to mitigate energy loss in this exposed harbourside location.

Wherever possible, historic features were repaired with minimal alteration to the listed fabric. This sensitive and conservation-led approach to regeneration preserved the space and character of the existing building while providing a flexible working environment for local businesses.


The Jennings now provides 24-hour multi-use access to its community. It also offers local restaurateurs and entrepreneurs opportunities to develop their business in a prime seafront location.

Opened in September 2017, the Jennings exemplifies best practice in planning for heritage and culture, setting a benchmark for listed buildings in functional harbourside settings. In just two years, the scheme progressed from initial design to planning, approval, and delivery of new uses and has already become a catalyst for regenerating the wider Porthcawl seafront.

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