With increasing numbers of visitors coming to Penarth to enjoy the current spell of settled sunny weather, contractors have re-appeared on the promenade to fence-off part of the Esplanade and close the Northern slipway.
There was considerable concern two years ago when contractors working for Welsh Water visited the Esplanade in 2014 – setting up a galvanised steel stockade on the sea front which remained in place all summer and closing off access to the beach at the Northern end of the promenade.
Now another firm of contractors has turned up with a large mechanical digger with a view to working for at least a week on enlarging and extending the rock armour that was installed over the new sewage pipeline which was buried in the foreshore two years ago.
Welsh Water has denied that this new work the rock armour (which was originally laid by their contractors Morgan Sindall) has anything to do with them . PDN now understands that the new sea-defence work at the North Slipway this week has actually been contracted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council – although no public announcement had been made by the council.
The fencing that’s now been erected on the Esplanade however originally bore notices informing promenaders that the contractors were actually building a coastal path in the Caldicot area – many miles away.
It turned out that this was because the fencing had come from a previous job being done in Caldicot by different contractors and the placards were wrong. One workman explained they hadn’t got around to updating their signage just yet. The incorrect signage was later removed .
The last time the slipway was closed by, Penarth Coastguard had to rescue nine people who were trapped on the beach at high tide and who had been unable to scale the formidable and very slippery Welsh Water-installed rock armour to reach safety.
As a result Penarth Coastguards then insisted on being issued with keys for the stockade so that they could access the beach in an emergency. It’s not known whether any similar safety arrangements have been made this time.