A plan by the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council to commercialise Penarth’s Cosmeston Country Park. by setting up a revenue-generating wake-boarding “activity franchise” there, is set to run into public opposition .
Already over 80 people have signed an on-line petition demanding that the Vale Council drop its controversial scheme and leave Cosmeston Lakes Country Park as the quiet, restful, rural retreat that it currently is.The petition is on http://tinyurl.com/jcwrhsw
The proposed “wake-boarding” centre would be set up on one of the two lakes at Cosmeston.
Between two and five steel towers would be fixed into the bed of the lake – connected by an overhead cable system to form a continuous aerial loop.
Ski-lift-type tow ropes would suspended from the aerial cableway down to the wakeboarders on the surface . The wakeboarders would be drawn-along through the water by an electrically-powered system similar to a ski-lift.
If wakeboarders fall over, they let go of the tow rope and would have to swim back to the shore, scramble back to dry land and walk back to the launch area to remount their wakeboards.
The lakes at Cosmeston are known to have very steep underwater gradients around their shorelines – as established in recent soundings taken by Cardiff Sub Aqua Club . The lakes also have very low water temperatures and would require the use of wet-suits
The charge for wakeboarders would probably be around £25 for two hours – or £50 for a day . The system has the advantage than no outboard powered tow boats would be necessary – but a safety boat would have to be on hand to rescue wakeboarders who get into trouble.
Another member of staff would be required at all times to operate the system and receive the cash. It’s anticipated the system would be at its busiest in July and August with up to 100 wakeboarders a day booking time on the system.
An on-line petition opposing the development has been set up by local environmental activist Anne Greagsby . Ms Greagsby – who is also standing for election as a Vale Plaid Cymru Candidate for St Augustines Ward in next May’s elections – says :- “ The ‘peace and tranquility at the’ lake at Cosmeston Country Park that we value so much would be seriously disturbed by commercial cable-wakeboarding where wakeboarders towed by a wire steer around obstacles We object to the visual impact of ugly ‘tower-supports for the towing wires, also noise from wakeboards hitting the water. and from the PA system. This will be worse during the competitions as scheduled . The Council claim of environment-friendly is false, when such noisy water activity will scare off many if not all the visiting and resident birds”
Ms Greagsby also points out that the Cosmeston Lakes site is an SSI [a site of Special Scientific Interest] which – she says – “should exclude recreational activities likely to damage the qualifying features. The lake that has a resident population of up to 60 Mute Swans. some of which nest, occasionally a similar number of Canada Geese, 100’s of Gulls and Coot, and other wildfowl from autumn through to spring. Not to mention birds such and Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting which nest in the reed bed which no doubt would be disturbed by the wash that wakeboarding creates.”
The petitioners say “We do not want to see Cosmeston turned into a noisy pleasure park.” As of this morning 90 people have already signed the petition.