The Vale of Glamorgan Council has now published more details about its plans to generate revenue for the council from new commercial visitor-attractions proposed for Cosmeston Country Park.
The council says it is “looking for bids that will generate the highest income, whilst also providing services that are aligned to the objectives in which the council and the country park operates.”
The Vale Council says “both seasonal-dependent and non-seasonal-dependent bids are encouraged” and that it also wants to “know what community benefits can be realised in association with this agreement.”
The list of potential attractions it suggests for Cosmeston includes:-
- Aerial Adventure facilities. These could include zip wires, high ropes and low ropes facilities
- Cycle hire: Various boating activities on the East Lake only at Cosmeston . These could include rowing boats, canoes, stand up paddle-boards, “Water Walkerz“, “Peddalrz” and other water-borne activities.
- ‘Survival’ and Bush-craft: These could include professional bush-craft courses and activities for instructors and various bush-craft courses for juniors or families, such as survival courses, seasonal bush-craft skills, tarpology, foraging, tracking and navigation.
- Historical Sports provision. These could include: –
- Hammer- throwing
- Jousting at Tournaments.
- Outdoor Activities :- “These could include Mobile Laser Tag, Segways, Disc or Frisbee Golf, Golf, Football, Laser Clay”.
- Events: including Halloween, Christmas Events at the mediaeval village or Food or other festivals using open land or marquees where appropriate, craft or other markets .
The council says its suggested list isn’t exhaustive and that other activities will be considered subject to suitability for the location.
Contracts are to be awarded “on a rental or fixed lease/license basis for up to 10 years”. It says “Some incentives may be available, dependent upon the level of investment and the proposal submitted”.
PARKING CHARGES: The Vale Council points out that it “may at a future date, introduce car park charges for visitors to the Medieval Village. No decision has been taken to do so and this function does not form part of this offer. “
Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Dinas Powys) has already demanded that the public should be given full details of the Cosmeston proposals .
He has told Wales on Line ““It is not right that this much-loved country park is facing potentially disruptive activities but the public are denied a say on matters. We recognise that there are financial challenges but that is no excuse for this secrecy.”
Penarth town councillor, Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward), who represents part of the Cosmeston Park area, says “Whilst I recognise there may be some need to raise a reasonable income from this much loved country park, which presently attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, the proposals do seem completely over the top in their scope, and I am not convinced that we need to turn this haven of wildlife into the latest theme park in Wales.
Cllr Ernest says “There seems to be a hell-bent wish on behalf of the current Labour administration in the Vale of Glamorgan to do away with those natural facilities that so many of our residents and visitors really enjoy, and I remain to be convinced that this is little more than a cost cutting exercise, which some councillors think can only be talked away with grandiose ideas for fun fairs, cable wires and the like, all of which will have a major impact not only on close neighbours of Cosmeston, but also those who are likely to move into the area when many hundreds of new houses are given the go-ahead by Labour on the lush green fields which currently surround the very pleasant Lavernock Park and Byrd Crescent housing areas of Penarth.”
The Vale of Glamorgan council’s cabinet member for regeneration and education, Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) has told Wales on Line that the council is committed to preserving the special nature of Cosmeston Country Park but also recognises “the need to diversify its appeal in order to ensure long-term sustainability”.
Two new features currently being considered for Cosmeston will require local authority planning approval and “the public will be able to share their views on these once planning applications have been submitted.”
Cllr Burnett has said “These new ventures will give even more people a reason to visit the country parks and help generate new sources of income that we hope will help secure the park’s future.
Of the two projects currently under consideration, she says “The council has, of course, taken great care in vetting all submissions to ensure that proposals will complement what is already on offer and in no way disadvantage existing users of the park or compromise our commitment to the environment.”