The Vale of Glamorgan Council has today issued more information about its proposals to set up a controversial commercial Wake-Boarding Franchise – using aerial towing cables – on one of the the lakes at Cosmeston Country Park.
No plans for the proposed development have yet been placed in the public domain – but today more information has come to light about exactly what’s envisaged
Rob Thomas the Managing Director of the Vale Council has now issued more detail today in emails to senior Vale ‘cabinet’ members – which he has copied to Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully).
Mr Thomas says that the facility will not have 5 steel towers planted into the bed of the lake . Instead the overhead aerial cableway will be supported on two massive “A Frame”-type supports embedded into woodland .
The height of the two proposed “A Frame” towers is not yet specified by the Vale but manufacturers say they can be either 6 metres high (20 feet) t0 11.5 metres high (37 feet) . A series of wakeboarder tow-ropes will be suspended from the overhead cables.
The legs of the A Frames will – Rob Thomas says – be “embedded in wooded areas, carefully selected for minimal visual intrusion” .
Mr Thomas rebutts assertions that the proposed wakeboarding system will affect wildlife . He says “The only perceived harm to birdlife could be if wakeboarding continued during the low season when overwintering birds arrive at Cosmeston, and it is not proposed that the wakeboarding will ever operate during the winter.”
He concludes by saying “This is, in my view a balanced approach.”
Vale Councillors Kevin Mahoney and Bob Penrose (both Independent Sully) are rallying opposition to the wakeboarding scheme – arguing that the Country Park should be a place for quiet relaxation, free from noisy commercial enterprises.
Cllr Mahoney and Cllr Penrose have been joined today by Cllr Clive Williams MBE (Conservative Plymouth Ward) who is president of the Conservative Party in Penarth .
Cllr Williams – a former Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan and a former Mayor of Penarth said today “I am totally against any commercialisation of this “complex’ because the small group of people in power should not have the right to alter and affect the lives of future generations.”
Tonight Penarth Town Councillor Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) has also weighed in against the wakeboard scheme saying he is “vehemently opposed to the entire concept”.
Cllr. Ernest says ” I am absolutely horrified by the proposal to introduce such a commercial activity …and just cannot understand why any current member of the authority would want to destroy the peace and tranquillity of Penarth’s finest asset, which welcomes around 350,000 visitors every year – many visiting Cosmeston several times a week.”
Cllr Ernest, who was charge of Leisure and Tourism in the Vale under the Conservative administration – says “Much of the park has special protection for environmental purposes, not least the bird and wild life which is so evident to all in the park’s 180 acres, and was the very reason that the park gained a coveted Prince of Wales Award almost from the day it first opened. This latest idea is an absolute nonsense and is merely a trashy business proposal thought up by a handful of uninspired and uncaring councillors in the Vale. I will be doing my level best to ensure that the original concept of Cosmeston Lakes, as a nature and leisure reserve, stays that way in the future”
Meanwhile an on-line protest petition launched by Penarth resident, environmentalist and Plaid Cymru Vale candidate in St Augustines – Anne Greagsby – is continuing to garner support with 11,000 people now having signed it.
The website address for the petition is http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/955/326/341/dont-bring-wakeboarding-to-cosmeston-lakes/