I have today written to the Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Office to express my deep concerns about proposals to lease part of Porthkerry Park to a private company, who would install leisure facilities and a campsite near the viaduct. If you care about Porthkerry, please share my letter and contact the Vale Council to let them know that you object to the proposal. Labour Councillors are supporting objections. The Cabinet Member responsible for this is Conservative Cllr Jonathon Bird
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Via email to: Cabinet Office Vale of Glamorgan Council
15 May 2018
FAO: Cllr Bird
Re: Porthkerry Park
I am writing to express my deep concern about the Vale Council’s proposal to lease part of Porthkerry Country Park to a private company. I understand that it is envisaged that a campsite and zip wire activities would be installed on an area adjacent to the children’s play area, which acts as the natural viewing point for the iconic Porthkerry viaduct.
You will no doubt be aware of the importance of Porthkerry Park to the people of Barry. It is an outstanding area of natural beauty, and the combination of the woods, parkland and beach make this a unique attraction, which has been cherished by generations of Barry families.
The area of the proposed camp site and leisure facilities is currently extremely popular with people of all ages – families, children, disabled and elderly people. This is because it adjoins the car park, café, play park, log cabin and the path to the beach, as well as acting as a gateway to the quiet area beyond the viaduct and, in the other direction, the golden stairs.
A campsite here would presumably include extra car parking spaces, a toilet and shower block, office and admin facilities, and possibly some form of security fencing. It is difficult to envisage this happening without significant disruption. Specific concerns brought to my attention by residents include:
- The impact of extra traffic, litter, noise and general disruption on the area’s wildlife
- A substantial area now available to Barry residents and visitors will be blocked off, and access to the beach restricted to the footpath
- The views of the sea and viaduct will be interrupted
- There are fears that the children’s play area would be reduced or removed altogether
- Flooding here is already a problem at all times of the year; there are concerns that the risk of flooding will increase due to the extra demands placed on this low-lying area of the park
Since the park was landscaped by the Romilly family in the 1840s, and given to the people of Barry, it has been protected by successive local governments from development. There are real fears that if this is allowed to go ahead a precedent will be set, allowing the park to be seen as open to future outsourcing.
I would like the objections raised with me by residents to be considered prior to any decision on the future of the park, and look forward to hearing from you shortly with an update on developments.
JANE HUTT AM (VALE OF GLAMORGAN)
Cc: Scrutiny Committee