Visitors to Penarth Head Park are now pointing out that there seems to be something missing when they arrive at the summit of Penarth Head at the so-called “Penarth Head Viewing Platform“… It’s the view.
The “viewing platform” was supposed to allow visitors to enjoy the panorama of a sweeping Bristol Channel seascape – taking in Cardiff, Newport, the Severn Bridge, Bristol , Burnham, Weston-Super-Mare, the Somerset coast, the Holm Islands and Lavernock Point.
However so many un-tended saplings and bushes have now sprouted up along the cliff face that visitors to the “Viewing Platform” have a struggle to see anything at all.
The massive £100,000 grey brick edifice was built without public consultation and without planning permission by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council.
It immediately ran into a gauntlet of public criticism from local residents appalled at its enormous size and grim Soviet-style monumental design.
Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustine’s and now Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council promised last autumn that flowers would be planted at the base of the edifice to “soften” its impact – but not a single plant has yet appeared.
During building, environmentalists were concerned to discover that 84 tonnes of liquid concrete had been poured into foundations dug down in the fragile clifftop and the weight of the entire structure is well over 100 tonnes.
On completion it was found that many of the recesses for “information plaques” – specially built along the top of the ramparts of the viewing platform – had been misaligned . They lined-up with local flats and houses rather than across the channel towards geographical points of interest.