Albert Road School (Albert County Primary) Penarth

Albert Road School (Albert County Primary) Penarth

Penarth’s Albert Road Primary School (a.k.a. Albert County Primary) has emerged with flying colours from last month’s inspection by the Welsh schools inspectorate Estyn

BACKGROUND : The school caters for about 406 pupils between the ages of 3 and 11 years of age,  including  60 pupils in the two part-time nursery classes. Around 9% of pupils on the school roll are eligible for free school meals – far fewer than the average for Wales (which is 20%).

  • The Estyn report also says “There are a very few children looked after by the local authority”. 26% of the pupils at Albert School have “additional learning needs” but there are none with “special educational needs” .
  • Around 24% of pupils come from ethnic minority backgrounds and about 15% speak English as an additional language. Very few pupils speak Welsh as their first language. There were 7 fixed-term exclusions over the past school year.  The school’s last inspection
    was in February 2009.
  • Albert Road has one of the lowest budgets per pupil anywhere in the Vale of Glamorgan – at just £3,010 per pupil . [ The school with the highest budget gets £5,170 per pupil] . Albert Primary School is 40th out of the 46 primary schools in the Vale of Glamorgan in terms of its school budget per pupil.


Albert Road Primary School

Albert Road Primary School

Estyn rates the school’s current performance as  excellent and the school’s prospects for improvement as good.

The inspectors say most pupils make very good progress during their time at the school, their standards of literacy and numeracy are very high and “nearly all”  pupils are polite and well-mannered, and they take great pride in their work.

The Estyn Report on Albert PrimarySchool is on

The Estyn Report on Albert PrimarySchool is available on

The school provides an “innovative and stimulating curriculum that is broad and
balanced” . Teachers plan to develop pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills particularly well.  Teachers deliver “creative and exciting lessons that engage the interest of pupils
well” . Skilled and knowledgeable support staff deliver specialist programmes that help
pupils at risk of falling behind to catch up with other pupils . The report notes that “The school is an inclusive community, which recognises and celebrates diversity”

The report says headteacher and senior management team have a “strong vision of an inclusive school where all pupils receive a creative, skills-based education ” .Senior leaders “provide the school with a clear sense of direction Governors are very supportive of the school”.

However Estyn makes the following recommendations:-

  • Improve pupils’ use of Welsh outside of Welsh lessons
  • Improve pupils’ attendance and punctuality
  • Meet the statutory requirement for all pupils to attend a daily act of collective
  • Ensure that there is sufficient adult support to meet the learning needs of all
    pupils in the Foundation Phase

The full report is on

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The Turner Gallery in Plymouth Road Penarth - is closing this weekend. No date has been given for re-opening.

The Turner Gallery in Plymouth Road Penarth – is closing this weekend. No date has been given for re-opening. The pink paint job was applied earlier this year.

Turner House  – the art gallery in Plymouth Road – is to close ahead of schedule this weekend, will not open at all in December  and no date has yet been announced for any re-opening in the New Year.

James Pyke Thompson - benefactor and founder of Turner House Penarth

James Pyke Thompson – benefactor and founder of Turner House Penarth

Turner House was originally bequeathed to the people of Penarth in 1897 by local flour magnate James Pyke Thomson – along with a large collection of original artworks by J M Turner – now reckoned to be worth many millions.

The gallery – and its paintings –  was handed over by Penarth Urban District Council to the National Museum of Wales in 1921 but it continued to be  financially supported by Penarthians through a precept on the rates.

In 2003 the National Museum leased the building to a tax-payer funded “charity”  Ffotogallery,  which uses the gallery only for  photographic exhibitions – many of distinctly limited appeal.

Turner's watercolour "Ewenny Priory"

The famous watercolour “Ewenny Priory” was one of the original collection of Turner paintings bequeathed to the people of  Penarth and displayed in Turner House. Now, with the rest of the collection, it’s locked up out of sight in the vaults of the National Museum of Wales .

One of the photographs currently on show in Turner House

One of the photographs currently on show in Turner House

The exhibition "And Now It's Dark" had been due to run for another three weeks

The exhibition “And Now It’s Dark” had been due to run for another three weeks

Ffotogallery had been  due  to run its current exhibition of photographs called “And Now it’s Dark ” until December 19th – with a “tea and cake” event being scheduled for December 1st – but now it’s now emerged that the gallery will close this weekend and no date has been announced for any re-opening in the New Year.

….And anyone turning up for free tea and cake on December 1st will be disappointed.

The full story of how Penarth lost its multi-million pound collection of Turner paintings – and Turner House itself –  is on



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Penarth Town Council's HQ at West House, Stanwell Road

Daffodils outside Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House, Stanwell Road

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg  [the Welsh Language Society] has issued a statement “on behalf of Penarth Town Council” proclaiming that – as from January 1st 2016 – the council will issue Welsh versions of all its agendas and minutes.

Furthermore, the Society asserts that Welsh-speakers will be welcome to attend Penarth Town Council’s  meetings [currently held only in English]  and obtain services through the medium of Welsh .

Penarth's Summer Festival and the Christnmas Festival programmes are now bilingual after pressure from the WLS

Penarth’s Summer Festival and the Christnmas Festival programmes are now bilingual after pressure from the WLS

The Welsh Language Society has being exerting pressure on Penarth Town Council for some time.

It has already successfully forced the council  (which admitted it had no Welsh-speaking councillors or Welsh-speaking staff) to issue Welsh-language versions of its Summer Festival programme and its other council publications  – but, so far, council minutes and agendas are only published in English.

The claim  that Penarth Council is now about to print these documents in Welsh isn’t based on any decision or declaration made Penarth Council itself – but is based on a report from the Ombudsman for Wales,  which Cymdeithas yr Iaith now sees as being a precedent.

In Cynwyd near Corwen in North Wales the council's meetings are held in Welsh and no English agendas are produced.

In Cynwyd near Corwen in North Wales the community council’s meetings are held in Welsh and no English agendas are produced.

The Ombudsman has been considering  complaint from a “Mrs X” about Cynwyd Community Council in North Wales – which allegedly does not produce English versions of its agendas and holds its meeting in Welsh.:-

A “Mrs X”  had complained about poor communications that the council had with local residents – saying that it posted some notices in “Welsh only” and she was aggrieved that this excluded her from becoming involved with the council as she does not speak Welsh. Mrs X  had told the Ombudsman she and other non-Welsh speakers were  being “disadvantaged” because they didn’t know what would be discussed at council meeting. She also said that Cynwyd Council’s meetings being held only in Welsh and asserted this “excluded” her because she would not understand what was being discussed.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and ruled that Cynwyd Council is guilty of  maladministration . He told the council it had to apologise to Mrs X and publish all agendas bilingually and to make other documents available bilingually. The Ombudsman said he even considered compelling the council to make a £100 payment to Mrs X in compensation – a payment which Mrs X would not accept.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg has now written to the Penarth Town Council in effect saying that ‘what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’ – and  demands that Penarth Council adopts the same policy in reverse .  

Meanwhile, Cynwyd Council has totally rejected the Ombudsman’s findings and is carrying on business as usual – in Welsh.


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The car involved in tonight's crash on Westbourne Road

The car involved in tonight’s crash on Westbourne Road

What police describe as a “one-car road traffic accident  closed Westbourne Road in Penarth for a short while this evening.

A saloon car appears to have collided with a tree – extensively damaging the vehicle and spinning it across the road . Airbags inside the car deployed correctly and no injuries have been reported  .

This is National Road Safety Week .


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Cllr Neil Moore Labour  Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council (left) is in a war of words with the Welsh Labour Government's public services minister Leighton Andrews

Cllr Neil Moore Labour Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council (left) is in a war of words with the Welsh Labour Government’s public services minister Leighton Andrews (right)

The leader of the controlling Labour group on the Vale of Glamorgan Council – Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry) is now fighting a last-ditch battle against his own party’s plans to merge the Vale Council with Cardiff Council.

Cllr Moore was responding to yesterday’s publication of a draft bill (see PDN which aims to reduce the number of local authorities in Wales from 22 to 9  – or even 8.

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry ) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry ) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr Moore claims there is “no rationale” for merging what he calls “the highest performing local authority in Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, with Cardiff.  The Vale of Glamorgan is a very different place to Cardiff, both geographically and culturally and has very different needs to that of the capital city.”

In a direct attack on the Welsh Labour Government’s Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews Cllr Moore says “The proposed reorganisation of local government in Wales has been a mess of confusion and contradiction from the start.” 

“In February of this year we were told that our proposal of a voluntary merger of the Vale of Glamorgan with Bridgend County Borough Council would not be considered because it crossed health boundaries. Then bizarrely in June the draft map showed a proposed merger doing just that by merging Bridgend, Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf councils”

Cllr Moore also refutes the claim that the re-organisation of local government will save money  – as it won’t happen until “2020 at the earliest”.  He saysI continue to urge Welsh Government to abandon this flawed plan and have a real and meaningful conversation with those who understand local government and who work within it for the benefit of local citizens.”

There has – as yet – been no reaction from his Labour Party colleagues at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

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The Town Clock is vertical - what about the new 2015 Christmas Tree?

The Town Clock is vertical and so too  – hopefully- is the new 2015 Penarth Christmas Tree.

No doubt about the question of the hour in Penarth today. No, it’s not the Penarth Head Link proposal, nor the Plassey St zebra-crossings – it’s “Is the 2015 Penarth Town Christmas Tree perpendicular …or not?” .

The tree – a 25-foot high monster from Bryn Awel Garden Centre –  was craned into its concrete slot on the clock roundabout this morning by public authority contractors Centregreat working for Penarth Town Council, whose responsibility the tree is.  Wedges were hammered home as soon as it was thought to be in the right position.

It’s now become an – albeit unintentional – town tradition that the Penarth Christmas Tree tends to lean to the left (depending on the observer’s point of view).

The 2013 Christmas Tree - lashed by gales - canted over towards Cogan

The 2013 Christmas Tree – lashed by gales – canted over towards Cogan

It began with the alarming rake at which it was set by a Vale of Glamorgan crew working for Penarth Town Council in 2013   which made worried pedestrians scurry past it.

One said memorably  that the swaying conifer  – coupled with gale-force winds – was “scaring the Bejeezus” out of him.

Last year’s tree was similarly canted over   but by then local shoppers and visitors had become accustomed to the rakish angle and more blasé about any potential risks.

Penarth Town council's deputy town clerk Keri Hutchings (left) confers with a contractor about the Christmas Tree's position

Penarth Town council’s deputy town clerk Keri Hutchings (left) confers with a contractor about the 2015 Christmas Tree’s position

This  morning, Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings was on hand to oversee a slick installation-operation by Centregreat – which was followed by painstaking observations taken from all points of the compass to ensure that – as near as dammit – this year’s tree would be vertical.

Finally everyone was satisfied the tree was as perpedicular as possible.

Finally everyone was satisfied the tree was as perpendicular as possible.

The final verdict however, has to come from the Penarth public. Experts say that  looks straight it probably is straight – and if the lights are carefully installed on it, then it will also appear to be perpendicular at night…but we won’t know that for sure until after the big  Christmas Lights Switch-on celebrations in the town centre at 17:00 on Sunday.

…That will be the moment of truth.


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Hardly a seat to spare at last night's public presentation and Q&A session on the new Penarth Headland Link project

Hardly a seat to spare at last night’s public presentation and Q&A session on the new Penarth Headland Link project

There was standing-room only at a packed public meeting at Penarth Pier Pavilion last night for the official launch of a consultation exercise to establish the degree of support for a new attempt to build a ‘Headland Link’ from Penarth Esplanade along the rocky shoreline to the Cardiff Bay Barrage.

For the first time the full list of the  names of the group of individuals behind the scheme were announced, more details of the scheme itself were released and the people of Penarth had their first chance to see what the scheme might look like – and ask questions about it.

The new proposals for the Penarth Headland Link - drawn for the project by the distinguished Penarth architect Chris Loyn.

The new proposals for the Penarth Headland Link – drawn for the project by the distinguished Penarth architect Chris Loyn who is the president of Penarth Civic Society.

This iteration of the Headland Link is predicted to cost half the budget-busting total of £26,000,000 estimated for the previous 2007 scheme . It would comprise a rock-fill causeway running along the shore at a distance from the cliff face varying between 15 metres and 25 metres (to avoid any danger of rockfalls) .

Along the top of the causeway will be a 6.5 metre  wide thoroughfare which will have dedicated lanes for cyclists and for disabled users .It will be wide enough for emergency vehicles and for  road trains to use.

An impresion of a "Plaza" and car-park at the Penarth end of the Headland Link by distinguished Penarth architect Chris Loyn

An impression of a “plaza” and car-park at the Penarth end of the Headland Link drawn by the well-known Penarth architect Chris Loyn

At the Penarth end, plans are less clear but it’s envisaged the causeway would be connected to a car park and a commercial / retailing “plaza” which it’s hoped might  generate the funding required to maintain the entire length of the structure .

This edifice would be mostly hidden from view behind the cliff and would not be as high as the old – and now “much missed” – multi-storey car park demolished by the Vale of Glamorgan council in the early ’90s.

The old multi-storey car park was demolished and is now "much missed"

The old multi-storey car park was demolished and is now “much missed”

On the foreshore the causeway will be built higher than the existing groynes which are built out at right angles from the cliff,  but will not be high enough to avoid over-topping at exceptionally high spring tides . On these occasions, like Penarth Pier , the causeway would be closed.  The causeway will be “porous” – i.e. unlike the Cardiff Bay Barrage, the tide will flow through it –  rather than around it .

The groynes running out from the Headland Cliff are to stem erosion. Three sections of the foreshore are privately owned

The groynes running out from the Headland Cliff are to stem erosion. The causeway will be built over them at a higher level . Three sections of the foreshore are privately owned

It’s been established that there are three different freeholders who own parts of the foreshore which are not in public ownership  (a substantial chunk of  the foreshore was acquired by the  War Office more than a century ago and subsequently sold off) .

Business Consultant Brendan Sadka introduced the meeting

The group’s chairman, business consultant Brendan Sadka introduced the meeting

The meeting was introduced by the chairman of the group promoting the project, Mr Brendan Sadka (a business consultant from Sully who works for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust) . He introduced the other members of the group comprising :-

  • David Trotman – former director of Penarth Pier Pavilion,
  • Peter Bussell (group secretary who is also secretary of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd ),
  • Roger Thomas (retired solicitor formerly of Eversheds) ,
  • Gabe Traherne (ex Arup civil engineer and Vice chair of the Council of Cardiff University) ,
  • Peter Morgan (chartered accountant formerly trustee of National Museum of Wales and of PACL),
  • Jim Leighton (quantity surveyor),
  • John Lovell (ex Arup civil engineer),
  • Alun Michael (former Labour MP and current South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner),
  • Richard Reed (accountant at Deloittes)
  • Paul Twamley (the former chairman of PACL who resigned earlier this year and works in Dubai)
Some of the members of the Headland Link Group

Some of the members of the Headland Link Group.Roger Thomas, Peter Morgan,  Dr David Trotman, Gabe Traherne and Jim Leighton,

The group first met in December last year to initiate the project (which has been kept confidential up to now) and had negotiated access to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s  files on the previous Headland Link project. The audience was told many local professionals had contributed work on a “pro-bono” basis  and that members of the School of Civil Engineering and of Cardiff University and Cardiff Business School were also assisting.

The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) pointed out there were no women on the group

The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) pointed out there were no women on the group

Mr Sadka – in outlining the CVs of the team behind the project – said he was “frankly humbled“.

It was left to the Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) – sitting in the audience, to point out (to applause) the obvious flaw – i.e. that the group consisted entirely of men and that there were no women on the team. She was not offering her own services but hoped that women would be encouraged to join  the project.

There was some hasty back-tracking  at this point and the audience was assured that different “skillsets” would be required at later stages of the project.

Dr David Trotman said the group was “constituting itself into an organisation with charitable objectives ” and spelled out the details of the structure and function of the Headland Link.  It would begin at the “Dardanelles” area of the [Northern] promenade and run for 1.1 km to join the Cardiff Bay Barrage at the Custom House.

Dr David Trotman (former Director of Penarth Pier Pavilion)

Dr David Trotman (former Director of Penarth Pier Pavilion)

Dr Trotman said he had been asked whether the structure would incorporate a car park. Dr Trotman said “We are looking at that potential “ – but if it was built it would go at the Dardanelles end.

The potential car park would adjoin a “plaza” – a  place where there would be space for retail and catering businesses.

Dr Trotman said “It’s a bit different from the original car park which a lot of people seem to miss . It has a low-level situation and hides under the contours of the cliff face” .

Dr Trotman said  it was hoped this structure would come in at “under half” the £26,000,000 estimated for the original scheme . He would be looking at a “suite of funders to raise that particular amount of money”. He said that, as with the Pier Pavilion, it would be necessary to look at “multi-stream funding”.

Dr Trotman said it would necessary to” look at what benefits the walkway could bring and attach those benefits to the criteria of funding bodies”.  It could involve the National Lottery, the private sector and the UK Government but the group was “not looking a local authorities because they are going through a hard time at the moment . ”

Last year two landslides which brought down several tons of rock and debris onto the beach.

The route of the walkway would be at least 15 metres and in some areas over 25 metres from the cliff face where last year two landslides brought down several tons of rock and debris onto the beach.

He said 1,000,000 people walked Cardiff Bay Barrage every year. The walkway would give people a flat easy onward route to the Esplanade.  If only 10% of those came to Penarth, that would be 100,000 people – each possibly spending £5 to £10 in Penarth which would make a signficant contribution to the local economy.

There would also be health benefits for patients in local hospitals – including the enlarged mental health unit at Llandough. The facility would also provide exercise benefits for medical staff at Llandough  and Rookwood.

Dr Trotman said the walkway would also provide a commuter route and would also provide educational opportunities for young people studying the strata of rocks and the ecology of the sea-shore .

He  said this was the “missing link”  – the missing part of the Wales Coastal Pathway, but told the audience “We are dependant on you – and on a positive response from the people of Penarth”. Likewise, a positive response from the people of Cardiff would also be sought at a similar public meeting in the city in the New Year new year with a view to “bringing the communities together” .

Dr Trotman’s final point, made – as he said –   “as a father and a grandfather” was perhaps the most powerful: – This structure will be here for years and years. It’s for our children and our grandchildren and children yet unborn. It’s something which will really cement a wonderful town with its capital city – and vice versa”,

An impression by award-winning Penarth architect Chris Loyn

An impression by award-winning Penarth architect Chris Loyn

There followed a question and answer session – but as there was no public address system in use, some members of the audience were finding it difficult to hear what was being said by the panel of speakers representing the group behind the scheme – so all members were asked to “speak up”. 

EROSION:  The first questioner – from Sully –  applauded the initiative of the sponsors but asked why it had not been pointed out that this proposed causeway would result in a “fantastic improvement in the lack of erosion of the cliff  “. Dr Trotman ruefully admitted  – to laughter from the audience – that he had “missed that point”.

NAME : The chairman of Group 617 – the 40-strong group of former veterans dealing with the aftermath of their military service – suggested that the Headland Link be called “The Veterans’ Way” .  He was told it was “still early days” and the group was not in a position make such an undertaking yet but would note the suggestion.

FORESHORE OWNERSHIP:  A question on the ownership of some sections of the foreshore – a problem which had contributed to the collapse of the previous scheme in  2006/7 came next.  Group member Roger Thomas said discussions had been opened with two of the three major owners of sections of the foreshore and were seeking to make contact with the third .  The group would require “appropriate title” before the project continued. Mr Andrew Willmott – representing the Whannell family (one of the three private owners of parts of the Headland foreshore) and said (to warm applause)  that  90-year-old Mrs  Caroline Whannell, who was celebrating her 70th wedding anniversary, and her daughter were with him in the audience.  Mr Willmott said “I would hate to think that we were one of those who brought the last plan to an end, but it certainly wasn’t our intention” and said the family would like to converse with the group and be “very positive  towards the scheme”.

ESPLANADE DEVELOPMENT:  Asked whether development plans for the Penarth end of the causeway involved residential development , the panel replied that it did not . The development concerned was the car park – part of which would be given over to space for retail/catering outlets. There would be no “domestic” development.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MONEY LAST TIME? : Audience member, Geraldine Martin, asked about “£9,000,000” of  public money which had been lost when the previous Headland Link scheme had collapsed . She asked Is any of that retrievable now? Where did it go?”.  The panel said it  believed it had “gone back to the Welsh Government” and was “probably now lost out of sight”.

SEATING/CYCLISTS: Ms Louise Lush asked whether there would be seating on the causeway and criticised the seating on the Cardiff Bay Barrage which was not user-friendly, had no back support and was not suitable for older people and children. Dr Trotman said it was important for such points to be logged by the panel so that it could put the appropriate seating in . Similarly he said cyclists had specified a certain width in which they could cycle comfortably – particularly with  a child buggy at the back .This had to be delineated so that “walkers don’t get in their way”. The cycle symbols on the Cardiff Barrage were, he said, “too far apart ” and walkers were unaware it was a cycle pathway. Taking such points on board at this stage made the group’s job easier.

PARKS : Martin Gossage of the Friends of Belle Vue Park reminded the panel that  Penarth is known as  “The Garden By the Sea” and  stressed the importance of directing  incoming visitors towards Penarth’s public parks rather than their by-passing the parks by going straight up the Dolly Steps into the town.

BARRAGE ROADWAY: Another Penarth resident asked  if there was an intention to have a “roadway for vehicles” along the Headland Link. He was assured there was no intention in the current design  for “public vehicles” to use the causeway but there would be a need for maintenance  and emergency vehicles to use it.

BARRIERS/ STONE: Another questioner was told that some barriers would probably be required to close the causeway in some circumstances . The structure would be built out of steeply inclined boulders – similar to the rock armour north of the pier – but there would be points along the causeway at which people would be able to descend safely to the shore. There will be consultations with Penarth Coastguard and Fire and Rescue Services.

LIGHTING:  Andrew Kelland asked whether the causeway would have lights along its length and was told that for safety reasons lighting would be required.

CONSTRUCTION PHASE: The group was asked what plans it had to minimise the construction phase . Most construction materials and traffic – the audience was told – would , subject to negotiations , come from the Cardiff end and the build  move progressively south.  The car park would be built at the Penarth end,  with some plant and materials coming via Penarth  but it was the intention that  bulk of construction traffic would come via the “Cardiff end” .

 RECYCLING: The panel was asked what recycled materials would be used in the project and whether the tidal force be sued in any way to help educate children or “help with the lighting”.  The panel said it would be using natural materials but was examining the possible use of some waste materials  . On tidal energy the audience was told what if someone could think of a clever way to use tidal power the group would be delighted but it did present educational opportunities for young people to learn about the tides and tidal power.

QUARRIED MATERIALS: One audience member asked where the materials would come from . The panel said the material would be “quarried stone” and there were “quite a large number of quarries in South Wales” which could provide the stone required.

RUBBISH ON THE BEACH: The panel was asked whether it had considered that rubbish and flotsam might collect on the landward side of the causeway where it would be “stuck on the stones” rather than been cleared by the tide twice a day. The panel said this clearance would have to be part of the maintenance regime.  It was confirmed that the causeway would be porous and the tide would go in and out through it. It was pointed out that Penarth Beach is cleaned regularly not by the tide but by volunteer beach wardens.

GROYNES AND GEOLOGY: It was confirmed the causeway would be above the level of the groynes. Any pieces of material from the cliff face would fall off and bounce down the beach but the causeway would be far enough away from them. In the most dangerous areas a row of block stones might be installed  as an additional safety measure . Sitting and walking on the causeway  presented “different levels of risk”. If people were seated it might be necessary to put blockstones behind the seats as additional protection.

EROSION:An audience member wanted to know if any thought had been given to erosion further along the coast at Lavernock .The panel said this would be part of the assessments but the judgement was that it would not .

ROCK FALLS: One questioner said there had been a “1,000 tonne rock fall” in April – and asked how far would the walkway be from the cliff? The panel said the distance between the cliff face and the causeway would vary from 15 metres in them “more secure” areas to 25 metres and maybe more in areas of greater danger. There were slabs of limestone very high up – about “the size of a big cushion” . If one of those came down and started “bouncing around” that was the big danger which the experts on the panel worried about. The causeway would be “way above the beach” and a “very substantial” distance away from the cliff face.

PLANTING ON CLIFF-FACE: An audience member Andrew Kellan suggested that the cliff face be planted with vegetation to minimise the danger of falling rock bouncing off it but the panel doubted very much whether anything could be induced to grow there. Sand would be a better surface to minimise this risk.

LEGAL PROCESSES. Before preparation and construction could begin the panel said it was essential to go through legal processes and obtain the necessary regulatory approvals and the group would need to raise the money . Money raising – which was essential to instruct the professionals to begin work – would begin in the New Year . The planning process would be long . Construction – once started – could take a year. After construction of the causeway itself was completed  the group said they might want the sea to “hit it for some time” before finally concluding the pathway along the top.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT RE-ORGANISATION:  The potential re-organisation of local Government in Wales and the proposed merger of the Vale of Glamorgan Council  was not seen as being an immediate problem. 

COMMUNICATIONS AND LEAFLET: Only lady in the audience said there had been nothing in the leaflet published by the group to say who they were or where they were based or how they could be contacted.  Dr David Trotman said the group was not yet in a position to set up an office base or a social media contact . This was the first stage in which the group had been able to make contact with the public .  Members of the audience had been asked on forms (left on the seats)  to  leave their contact details and indicate whether they were in favour of the project  . When the group had the necessary funding to open a social media hub  it would contact respondents via email or by phone.  There would be an “update” meeting in six months’ time by which time the group hoped to have  an email contact and a base. When pressed, the group said that those who left their email addresses at the pavilion on paper would receive the email address of the group  within the next couple of weeks.

After the presentation was over, many in the audience commented that there had not been a single negative query about the project ; all the audience-response had been positive.

It seems as though – unlike its ill-starred predecessor – this Headland Link might just happen.

PDN’s full story of the disappearance of Penarth’s “much-missed” multi-storey car park is on

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