The Vale of Glamorgan Council is considering proposals to “create one brand” for the town of Penarth and “widen Penarth’s offer” .
The proposals are made in an internal council “Town Framework Implementation Update Report” from the Vale council’s ‘cabinet’ member for regeneration and education, Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)
The so-called “Town Centre Framework” was commissioned
by the Vale Council from consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners and has been “under way” since February 2014.
Many of the points made have been suggested before in various previous reports and initiatives and seem to focus on the presumed requirements of visitors and tourists, rather than those of council-tax-paying residents.
Some of the action points for Penarth are summarised under headings below:-
A PENARTH “BRAND
Under the heading “Imagine Penarth” the document proposes “Creating one brand for the town.” . The idea would be to “seek to investigate potential for setting up a community group/steering group with the remit of seeking to better market Penarth as an artistic/artisan centre.” The document suggests “a key target audience should be Cardiff day-trippers.”
Somewhat ruefully, the report notes that “This would have been a core function of the proposed Penarth Business Improvement District which failed to receive support at ballot in 2015.” [ PDN Note: A large majority of local businesses in Penarth voted against the proposal to set up a Business Improvement District (BiD for short) . The votes were:- For 48 Against 86.]
The report says that Penarth Town Council’s so-called “Momentum Group” has now taken on the role which would have been fulfilled by the defunct Business Improvement Scheme – and praises the success of the two “Picnic Penarth” events held to date .
The report also suggests “exploiting Penarth’s unique surroundings and other attractions to capture benefits for the centre by encouraging internal and sustainable connections
between the town and beach and carrying out a review of sustainable (cycling, bus and pedestrian) connections between centre and neighbouring areas”.
PENARTH AT NIGHT ( THE “NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY”)
The document also proposes “widening Penarth’s offer” by “diversifying daytime and night-time offer so that it caters for visitors and supports the brand” and “building upon Penarth’s unique qualities seek to investigate mechanisms for
encouraging appropriate temporary Night-time Economy uses” .
As possible examples it cites “night market, outdoor theatre etc. stemming from its role as a historic seaside resort.” [PDN Note The term “night-time economy” is police/local authority jargon for retail businesses which trade after dark.]
The document proposes to “Seek to relax restrictions on opening hours for certain business types (i.e. those uses not just focussed on drinking or takeaway uses) within Penarth –particularly in relation to Sunday trading as this represents a key time for visitors/tourists to Penarth.”
The Vale Council says its licensing policy and is “designed to support development of town centre economies in balance with issues of disorder and public nuisance. The policy encourages applications from establishments which provide food, and a family based environment”
GATEWAY TO PENARTH
The report proposes a “review of gateway approach into the centre from neighbouring areas with a view to considering how these may be improved –e.g.approach along Windsor Road, approach along Beach Road etc.”
It says that “There are plans for gateway improvements into the town from Cardiff being considered for 2016/17 and 17/18″. [PDN note :There is no mention of the poor air quality in the Cogan Dip on Windsor Road – and existing Air Quality Management Area there which remains in force.]
The report proposes to “investigate and identify opportunities for new car parking provision in/on the edge of the [town] centre.
However the report says “There are currently no active plans for the town centre apart from the redesign of street parking/review of double yellow lines at some stage in future, subject to funding.” There are hints however that ways of enlarging the Cliff Top car park may be examined “subject to funding and the outcome of the Penarth Esplanade Feasibility Study”.