A Vale of Glamorgan Council notice says the viewing platform has been "closed for surveying"

A Vale of Glamorgan Council notice says the viewing platform has been “closed for surveying”

The controversial and heavily-criticised Vale of Glamorgan Council created edifice – the Penarth Head Viewing Platform – has been closed to the public and fenced off .

As reported by PDN on November 14th, cracks have appeared in the wall of the massive concrete structure indicating that the cliff face beneath it is giving way beneath the huge 150 ton weight of the 17 month old structure . ( See ).

A large section of the Penarth Head Park itself has now been fenced off to the public

A large section of the Penarth Head Park itself has now been fenced off to the public

Today a team of consultant experts from Alpine Land Surveyors have fenced off a large section of the park  bordering the cliff face and have placed padlocked barriers across the entrance to the viewing platform itself.

A section of land to the north of the viewing platform is also now fenced off

A section of land to the north of the viewing platform is also now fenced off

The surveyors say they will be monitoring movement of the walls of the building and can’t say how long the £100,000 the viewing platform – designed and built by the Vale of Glamorgan Council at council tax-payers’  expense – will remain closed.

A specialist team from Alpine Land Survyors has been called in to "monitor" the movement of the 150 ton building - poised inches from the edge of Penarth Head cliff

A specialist team from Alpine Land Surveyors has been called in to “monitor” the movement of the 150 ton building – which was built just inches from the edge of Penarth Head cliff

Alpine Land Surveyors were today installing stainless steel pegs into the earth around the viewing platfrom which contain monitoring equipment linked to sixteen GPS satellites. These will indicate whenever ground movement of more than a millimetre has taken place.

The weighty drab grey edifice has been roundly condemned for its uncompromising, gun-emplacement-like  design which now dominates the little park and obscures the view from almost all the park benches. As forecast by local residents, it has also become a target for graffitti vandals.

Deputy Leader of the Vale Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) with Council leader Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry)

Deputy Leader of the Vale Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) with Council leader Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry)

The project was championed by Vale of Glamorgan Council Leader Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry) and Cllr Lis Burnett ( Labour St Augustines) who is Deputy Leader of the Vale Council . However it was strongly criticised by local residents who said it had been built without any public consultation .

As a sop to critics – an informal herbaceous and wildflower border was  recently planted around the base of the structure to “soften” its stark appearance . Now the entire building is out-of-bounds to the taxpayers who were made to pay for it.



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  1. Chris David says:

    It would make a good office for Liz and Neil.

  2. sjleworthy says:

    damn. such and elegant and beautiful structure, no longer fit for public consumption. R.I.P.

  3. Words fail me !!!
    This edifice is a total & utter disaster. The people who commissioned & authorised the project must be brought to task & removed from office.

    • Penileaks says:

      Surely you are joking !
      Removed from office ?
      In todays local government environment, those at the forefront of this debacle will no doubt be given some awards for the design of the thing and when the sh*te does really hit the fan, either when it is finally removed from it’s current position by excavators of by re-locating itself at the base of the cliff, those concerned will be quietly moved to other positions of authority and power within the council, ready to continue their incompetence in another secure and well pensioned, publically funded role.
      Makes one happy to be a mere Council Tax paying mortal does it not !

      • Any employee who acted in this manner in private enterprise would be facing instant dismissal.
        About time the same rules applied to Local Council employees.

    • Brian says:

      Couldn’t agree more!!!

  4. Pat Salthouse says:

    Absolutely shocking waste of our money. It’s a disgrace to us all. How are these people still in their jobs amazes me. It is scandalous! !

    • Pat, I would love to see a breakdown of the £100k cost for the project. The cost in itself is scandalous, never mind any of the other issues. The current status just defies belief.

  5. Peter Church says:

    Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) has welcomed the project saying “These improvements will ensure that the park becomes a special destination for users of the Wales Coast Path offering unrivalled views in a unique cliff top setting.”

    A special destination for surveyors and architectural students on what can go wrong when you let certain people in charge of projects.

  6. Matthew says:

    What a waste of money and it’s now going to cost even more money monitoring whether its going to fall into the sea or not!

    Vale council work at its best!

  7. Yvonne Penny says:

    Its a great pity that mistakes like this, with no consultation with the public the members that pushed this through should be fined, this may stop ridiculous ideas being passed quite so easily.

  8. penarthblog says:

    These people were elected by the electorate. You may not like what they do and if so then there is a thing called an election in a few months time at which time you may vote appropriately or not.

  9. Well I am glad its now fenced off and as I said in my previous comments I think the whole park area and buildings adjacent to the monstrosity are at risk too if the cliff face gives way to the weight on top of it which seems is slowly in progress. Id like to know how long its going to be monitored for and even more important why are the two people who discarded public opinion or consultation still in their jobs .This is proof if any was needed that Burnett and Moore are not fit for purpose or credible Council members . You do not foist and expensive flop on people without some agreement and you do not waste £100, 000 , they are now a liability and a drain on the public purse and have been found wanting. Also this is just the beginning not the end of the saga , its certainly going to cost even more money now to remedy the whole situation how much will that cost ? £200. 000, £300, 000 ? Burnett and Moore are frivolous with public money and need to be held to account and ideally removed from office. I await news of the latter.

  10. Coastal Erosion says:

    Cliffs collapse, that’s how they have become cliffs in the first place!
    Putting extra weight so near the edge is just plain stupid.
    Wasting £100,000 on doing so is even more stupid.

    The best time to watch cliffs collapse is a day or two after very heavy rain!
    Maybe the Vale Cabinet need to do a fact finding mission?

  11. Jillabong says:

    OH, here I go – complaining again! It doesn’t take a structural engineer to understand that a structure such as this is too heavy for our already eroding clifftop. Scandalous waste of public money – again, with little or no consultation with those expected to pay for it. Why didn’t the council just replace the demolished covered shelter and add some more benches? I am sure that these would afford excellent viewing platforms. Take down the folly before any more damage is done. I wonder whether anybody will be brought to account for this serious state of affairs?

  12. Coastal Erosion says:

    Attached is a photo of why this was such a very bad idea to build a large structure in this position.
    This is currently the steepest part of the cliff and the cliff face has lots of vegetation which sadly means it is over due for a fresh collapse.
    After heavy rain this hugely increases the load bearing weight and chances of a fresh collapse. (the 150 tonnes doesn’t really add too much).
    All we need now an easterly storm around high tide.

    I would advise even if its is deemed safe by the Vale surveyors not to venture onto it during stormy weather.

  13. Peter Church says:

    Here is a great website where you can fade between the latest OS map and one produced in 1870’s
    You can see the shrinkage due to cliff falls over time.

    Position Map over area of interest, Open Layers
    Then tick the first edition OS Map, then use the Opacity slider…simples!

    PS use it to discover what your house was built on!!

    • Frank Evans says:

      Mine was built on a farmers field. If I could use time travel I would go back and protest in the strongest possible manner, parchment letter to ye olde penarth daily news. Luckily we don’t want to build new houses on green fields anymore. Hang on😅

  14. sjleworthy says:

    it’s almost a drop in the ocean

    (sorry, had to say it)

  15. Mark Foster says:

    Its not the Vale of Glamorgan’s fault. They were told they had to build it. Just as they have been told to build the new estate at Cosmeston. Only Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and the Queen of England can solve these problems, by destroying the globalists’ power.

  16. Ivor Bagman says:

    We paid through our rates.
    Who had our money?

  17. Chris David says:

    That’s great Mr Church. But it does appear little or none of the cliff in front off (for instance) Whitcliffe Drive to the pier has been lost.

    • Peter Church says:

      I know, shrinkage!! but that web site was kinda cool!
      I blame the cartographers of yesteryear for under measuring.

  18. snoggerdog says:

    the reason the shelter was taken away was 4or5 lively alcoholics were drinking in the shelter &causing damage if the dibble had been sent to bother them a few evenings on the trot the shelter may well still have been there. (i do like the occasional half,but no i wasnt one of them )

    • Penileaks says:

      I well remember using the seaward side of that old shelter for some amorous meetings whilst a young teenager in the mid sixties. Happy memories indeed !

    • Jillabong says:

      The shelter came down during stormy weather.

  19. Michael Garland says:

    So much for the Vale Councils – Severn Estuary Shoreline Management Plan.
    The Vale Council are now of the belief that the collapses only occur at the bottom of the cliffs, so its ok to build on the top.
    Why cost the ratepayers £100,000 for a viewing platform that was going to be unusable in a few years before finally collapsing into the sea.

    The whole coastal zone from Penarth Head to Sully is affected by coastal erosion.
    The cliffs along Whitcliffe Drive have been fenced off for some years. In places a secondary fence has been installed as a result of the cliffs collapsing in the area. It is also noticeable that a lot of the vegetation here has been allowed to be cut back by the Council to allow the residents a sea view here, this will also quicken the erosion of the cliffs.
    There have also been collapses near Lavernock Point where the coastal path had to be redirected.
    The Vale Council are now planning to build a further 576 at houses at Cosmeston that will be perched within 10 metres of the Coastal Path and the unstable Cliff Edge!
    The sea view may be closer than they think.

  20. Chris David says:

    Well “Lindsay” which one of “you” will “you” be standing as? See PDN got your IP measure 🙂

  21. Sarah says:

    An utter waste of money!! And after all the flooding yesterday why does no one sweep up the leaves any more to prevent the drains blocking? Next the council will be paying out for injuries due to falls on wet leaves!

  22. Harry says:

    I think there should be a Public Meeting regarding this and maybe Liz and her cohorts can exolain the reason behind this and reason why £100,000 of our money has been literally “chucked over a cliff” I hope “coastal erosion”and their very sensible post, will attend. How is it that the rest OF us thought it a stupid plan but Liz and VOG thought otherwise? Explanation please VOG

  23. Has anyone thought to refer this to the Welsh Ombudsman? I’m sure the circumstances surrounding its placement in such a location is within his remit.

    • Mark Foster says:

      You need to stop avoiding the issue. What you need is a freedom of information request to find out which department of the Ministry of Defence commissioned it, designed it and built it.

  24. AK says:

    However did Liz’s Folly cost £100,000 to build ?

    How much was held back and not paid when it was discovered that the direction plates faced totally in the wrong direction?

    • As I have commented earlier, I would very much like to see a breakdown of the £100k cost. I cannot believe it should have cost anywhere near that.
      Also if it is not built correctly,then you do not pay !!???

  25. Max Wallis says:

    I’m informed the surveyors said the crack in the edifice may be just “settling”. The rainwater pooling implies the base slab has tilted. Yet the ground below at the far left corner is separating from the footings (or base slab). What says “coastalerosion” – was a 2 or 3 foot strip due to fall anyway or has a bigger section been destabilised by the construction and extra weighting?
    One can call it “Burnett’s folly”, but surely the Council would not have been so irresponsible as to build it without technical advice on site stability – so will they be suing the ground surveyor, including a substantial claim for the loss of treasured parkland?

  26. Frank Evans says:

    Max trouble with calling it “Burnett’s folly” is you might get confused which folly your talking about😅

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