VALE COUNCIL REVEALS MORE DETAILS OF PLANS TO CASH-IN ON COSMESTON

Zip-wires are amongst the attractions being considered for Cosmeston

Zip-wires are amongst the attractions being considered for Cosmeston Country Park

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.”

Waterwalkerz are transparent plastic bubbles

Waterwalkerz are transparent plastic bubbles  which the user enters and “walks” across the surface of the water . “Water walking” would be confined to the  East Lake at Cosmeston

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: –
    • Archery
    • Bowls
    • Golf
    • Gameball
    • Hammer- throwing
    • Hurling
    • Shinty
    • Horseshoes
    • 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”. 

Car parking charges may be introduced at some future time at Cosmeston

Car parking charges may be introduced at some future time at Cosmeston

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.  “

POLITICAL REACTION:-

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys)

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys)

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.”

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

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.”

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamrogan Council

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

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.”

 

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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19 Responses to VALE COUNCIL REVEALS MORE DETAILS OF PLANS TO CASH-IN ON COSMESTON

  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    Labour is hell bent on destroying what we all love and appreciate about Cosmeston and Penarth generally by building on our green belt, axing our trees and destroying the wonderful biodiversity they support all for a few Bob from tacky fair ground attractions. Lis knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  2. Christopher David says:

    So some may say that the plan is to build lots of houses in the area and then give them a theme park? All just a money raiser? Oh yes I’m just asking…… in general. Anyone with a genuine IP, email address and identity can give a valid opinion.

  3. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I quite agree that these proposals need to be outlined and examined in full, I see no reason why activities at Cosmeston should not be enhanced as long as the country park is not overwhelmed with every gimmicky commercial activity going that might overwhelm and detract from the country park aspect of the area.

    I would, and indeed have already strongly opposed the introduction of car parking charges as this would inevitably lead to mass visitor parking in Lavernock Park and surrounding areas as visitors seek to avoid the parking charge.

    By the way wasn’t Anthony Ernest the chap who was the Vale’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism when the decision was taken to shut down activities in the medieval village?

    Thankfully myself and my fellow Sully councillor Bob Penrose investigated and were disappointed to find out from Rob Thomas Director of development services and his colleague Bob Guy that marketing and publicising of the costumed guided educational tours and associated services had been non existent.

    These were reinstated at our insistence with a measured marketing and publicity approach and are starting to thrive with school and other organisations trips proving to be growing on an annual basis.

    It just shows what can be done with a little effort.

    • Christopher David says:

      I fully agree with you the the parking and yes a measured and may I add sympathetic approach is needed with regard to “recreational” and better educational activity at Cosmeston.

  4. Max Wallis says:

    Cllr Burnett’s formula has long been to “help secure the parks’ future”. So how come the Vale Officers talk of seeking the “highest income” and activities suited to theme parks? No consultation except via planning applications sound ominous, especially when the officers talk of offering incentives with Lis Burnett and colleagues dominating the Planning Committee.

  5. Will says:

    Have the money-grabbers forgotten that wildlife needs somewhere to live? They are taking everywhere else.

  6. AK says:

    ‘List of potential attractions’

    First they require an operator who is willing to take on the licence and run safely and profitably.

  7. CelticMan says:

    Looks like another case of dumbing down and trivialising the true point of Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. The Vale’s website quotes Cosmeston as “a variety of habitats covering over 100 hectares … some areas are Sites of Special Scientific Interest protecting rare and diverse plants and animals … gained Local Nature Reserve status in May 2013 … habitats are sensitively managed” etc. etc. Not for much longer if this mob get their way – just leave it alone.

  8. BluesMan says:

    They should put a Go Ape in there that would be good!

    • whatsoccurin says:

      For decades in the Whitmore Bay shopping precinct they played a recording of “I’m the King of the swingers”-it has stopped now but perhaps they could play it on the “Go Ape” site. My serious point would be if there is a need for a Penarth Town Council when the Vale authority is so small-but then I researched and found that Bridgend still has a Town Council even though Bridgend area is a Unitary Authority-we do seem to be a bit over-governed in Wales.

  9. In response to Cllr. Mahoney from the Bendricks in Barry, I think that once again his facts are quite muddled and inaccurate. Nothing was closed down in my time and I do not think that either he or his fellow councillor have or had much impact in changing anything in the Vale, as they are in a minority situation and cannot move mountains. If the going was so good for the Councillor, why did he suddenly leave the UKIP Party – or did they leave him ? I do not mind constructive criticism one little bit, but misrepresentation is quite another thing..

    • Paul says:

      Quite amusing to see a conservative in Wales calling someone else ” in the minority”. Don’t worry, UKIP have had their day now between punch ups and disgraced ex-Tories being in charge in Wales at least. Pity he can’t stick to the topic though instead of trying to score a few points. So Cllr ERNEST, do you support the plan or not? Sounds like a “no” from the article and a “no” for the proposed new housing too – so what are you actually doing about it? Sounds like you and Cllr Mahoney agree and should be working together to achieve a common goal. Any chance of that?

  10. Michael Garland says:

    The Vale Council are looking at many different ways of raising much needed finance in order to fund the maintenance of the Country Park which as like all other Council services is liable to future cuts as the Council ‘reshapes its services’. They may be looking at many different options but that it not to say that they will choose them all.
    Car parking charges was of course top of the Vales list, but during discussions with the Vale Council it was noted of the detrimental effect this would bring to the residents of the nearby estates opposite the Park entrance in Lavernock and Byrd Crescent, in Penarth, with visitors to the Park parking in these places to save paying parking charges.
    It was only the last May Bank Holiday when the overflow car parks at Cosmeston were out of commission due to the wet weather, with numerous visitors parking on the estate making it totally impossible to drive from the bottom of the estate to the top.
    The Vale are understanding of the residents position at present and parking charges have been put on hold. Hopefully some appropriate activities, etc, can be found to help fund the Park and delay the onset of car parking charges.

    • Paul says:

      so understanding, that they want to build 600 extra houses and a park and ride there councillor?

    • CelticMan says:

      So that’s ok then – we’ll threaten you with car parking changes. You understand nothing and using the residents as a bargaining tool is pathetic and unacceptable.

  11. Christopher David says:

    Fine- sympathetic plans should be judged on merit when published (oh yeah if we see them). But parking charges are not only detrimental to the neighbourhood but counter productive to the overall “attraction”. No delay- just don’t do it. Understanding my Art.

  12. Stuart says:

    Some electric car charging bays would be good, especially as the only ones in the vale are at Asda Barry and Duffryn gardens.

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