YET ANOTHER RE-BRANDING FOR CONTROVERSIAL PAGET ROAD ‘SKATEBOARD’ PARK

This is the grassy area of Paget Road Park on which it was planned to install the 105 foot long concrete skateboard rink

This is the grassy area of Paget Road Park on which it was planned to install the 105 foot long concrete skateboard rink

The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council Vale  has – yet again – changed the name of its controversial £156,000 skateboard-park scheme planned for the “Children and Toddler’s Play Area “ at  Paget Road, Penarth.

Originally the Vale Council wanted to redevelop this as what it called an “all-ages” Adult Outdoor Gymnasium and Skateboard Park – equipped with a 105 foot long concrete skateboard rink.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) & Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) confronting St Augsutine's Ward residents on the skateboard project in 2014 . This week he told Penarth Council it was wrong for residents to oppose the scheme and accused them of nimbyism

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) & Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) confronting St Augustine’s Ward residents on the skateboard project in 2014 . This year he told Penarth Council it had been “wrong” for residents to oppose the scheme and accused them of nimbyism

When local residents found out about this scheme in 2014, a hastily-convened  public meeting had to be arranged at the Windsor Arms Pub on November 10th 2014 at which Vale councillors Lis Burnett and Gwyn Roberts (both Labour St Augustines) found themselves confronting heavy criticism  (see PDN http://tinyurl.com/mmv5wjb).

It was established at that meeting that the council had carried out no research whatsoever into whether such a facility was wanted or needed in the area.

Marcus Goldsworthy - The Vale Council's Head of regeneration and planning

Marcus Goldsworthy – The Vale Council’s Head of regeneration and planning

The scheme was then officially re-branded as the  Paget Road Open Space Play Facility . The project was put under the direct control of Marcus Goldsworthy, the Vale Council’s Head of Planning and Regeneration who is the most senior officer in the planning department.

It also emerged that the results of a “noise impact study” were  to be reviewed by officers   and what the Vale called   “further community consultation“ would be required .

At the same time council documents also confirmed that planning consent would be required prior to works commencing on any revamped scheme – which means that it could be considered by the full Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee rather than the council just quietly giving itself the go-ahead for the contentious project. If there are members of the public who object to the scheme they would be able to address the planning committee meeting and – if the decision goes against them – could lodge a planning appeal.

The concrete skateboard park would be 105 ft long and almost 50 ft wide

The concrete skateboard park “Penarth Vis 2” would be 105 ft long and almost 50 ft wide

It’s not yet clear whether the unpopular skateboard rink will remain part of the new proposals in view of what a Vale Council source described as “some disquiet in the vicinity”.

In another change, the council also says the revised and re-named scheme would extend beyond the Paget Road Children’s Play area to “ a number of parks in North Penarth”

The recreation ground at Plassey Square could also now be included in the scheme

The recreation ground at Plassey Square may now also be included in the scheme

Its is now being proposed to change the name of the scheme yet again from  “Paget Road Open Space Play Facility” to the  “North Penarth Open Space Improvement Scheme”  – eliminating the word “play”.

The council says it’s “currently investigating opportunities for improvements at nearby public open spaces in the vicinity of Penarth Heights and as part of this process are considering a number of parks in North Penarth. As such the Council is in the process of devising public consultation for enhancements, which will be undertaken during 2016. It’s under these arrangements that the new name of ‘North Penarth Open Space Improvement Scheme” is being proposed.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

In February this year Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) told Penarth Town Council that local residents had been “wrong” to oppose the original scheme.  In an implicit criticism of St Augustines residents, he told Penarth Council “We attempted to upgrade the park on Paget Terrace. We were going to put some huge skatepark with millions of children with radios loud and other rubbish. But I’m afraid that once you get to the practicalities, nimbyism is important.“

He said ” The actual  facilities there were [going to be] very modest – they were no more than a scooter park”. He said the project had now been stopped and was being looked at again “because of the reaction, which I think is, somehow or other, completely wrong” . 

 

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13 Responses to YET ANOTHER RE-BRANDING FOR CONTROVERSIAL PAGET ROAD ‘SKATEBOARD’ PARK

  1. Jane Foster says:

    Why is the council desperate to spend big money on stuff we neither need nor want but reluctant to spend even the smallest amount on things that will genuinely improve our area?

    • Peter Webster says:

      I agree that The Vale would be better off looking at the little things.

      A good start would be the Pier 64 problem. What are they doing about that?

    • CeriL says:

      Hello Jane, I believe the money for the project is directly from the Crest Nicholson Development. It was ring-fenced from the start to improve play and open spaces. There are hundred and hundreds of families with young children in Penarth who are very excited that we’ll soon be getting nice playgrounds and not having to drive to Cardiff and Barry! I feel that nicely maintained open spaces and play facilities do genuinely improve our area and look forward to their development. It should be noted that the skate element is no longer being proposed at Paget Road so hopefully the everyone can pipe down about it!🙂

      • Penileaks says:

        ‘I believe the money for the project is directly from the Crest Nicholson Development. It was ring-fenced from the start to improve play and open spaces.’
        I’m not sure that this is the case, although it should have been.
        Wasn’t the Pill Street/Windsor Road junction modification paid for out of this Crest Nicholson ring fenced fund ?
        I seem to remember hearing this at the time that it was all carried out and i’m sure that someone on here could confirm this.
        The bulk of the monies was supposed to go towards the refurbishment of the St Pauls Church building to be a community based centre, but the VoG council are far more interested in allowing that to fall apart and eventually be sold and so the fund monies will get gradually spent on other things.

  2. CAH says:

    How dare Councillor Roberts say that the residents are “wrong”.
    Open spaces are becoming increasingly valuable, why does anything have to be done to it?
    Plant some trees, put up some fixed tables and chairs, what a great place to have a family picnic, and allow the children to run around in the fresh air.

    • Penileaks says:

      ‘Plant some trees……….’, they’ve just annihilated most of them in that area, so they are hardly likely to do that i’m afraid😉

    • Jane Foster says:

      Totally agree. It’s a lovely park as it is, even if it’s not as good for fruit foraging as it once was before the Vale’s deforestation. The play area is wonderful for taking younger children to and that will be lost if these plans were to go ahead.

    • CeriL says:

      The playground at Paget Road is horrible! I can’t see why anyone would think it didn’t need to be improved. As a parent I’m sick of having to drive out of Penarth to go to a decent playground (With the exception of Belle Vue of course) Current proposals do include seating, flowers, better footpath and lovely play equipment improvements. I’m baffled by people not wanting this for Penarth.

  3. Stephen Davies says:

    I think Councillor Roberts forgets his role is to serve the public as a democratically elected Councillor, not impose his likes and dislikes on something that is clearly not wanted by the local Council Tax Payers. Of course there is always the chance that a bit of cronyism is behind this.

  4. Tom says:

    Why is our ‘elected’ council intent on spending money on projects rejected by the community? What we should be doing for young people is cherishing (the fast-disappearing) green spaces so they grow up with the privilege of trees and flowers, bees and birds and hedgehogs, and not damned concrete.

  5. AK says:

    Pier 64 problem, probably involves illegal parking at night- which is a police matter, not a Council matter. Can’t have them walking all the way from the car park, can we ?

    And we all know that the police have no interest whatever in illegal parking in Penarth.

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