VALE COUNCIL RE-OPENS CRACKED PENARTH HEAD VIEWING PLATFORM

The Vale of Glamorgan Council says tests have shown the cracked Penath Head Viewing platform is safe for the public enjoy

The Vale of Glamorgan Council says surveys and tests have shown that despite its cracked walls, the 20 month old Penarth Head Viewing platform is safe, and public access to it has now been restored

The Vale of Glamorgan Council – which had to close its much-criticised Penarth Head Viewing Platform in November last year after cracks appeared in the walls – has now announced the structure has been re-opened to the public.

The masonry cracks – wide enough to see daylight through – opened up in 20-month-old 150-tonne reinforced concrete and brick structure in mid November last year.

Daylight can be seen through a huge crack running from the top of the wall to the base

Daylight can be seen through a huge crack running diagonally from the top of the wall to the base

Cracks are also opening up in the footings around the base of the 8 foot high wall

Cracks are also opening up in the footings around the base of the 8 foot high wall

The steel crowd-barriers which had been chained and padlocked in position to keep the public out have now been removed

The steel crowd-barriers which had been chained and padlocked in position to keep the public out have now been removed

The council had to close the viewing platform to the public with padlocked and chained steel crowd-barriers whilst it commissioned a team of specialist engineers to install monitoring equipment to  measure potential subsidence of the cliff  edge, the ground around the structure,  and any further movement in the structure itself.

Special markers were fixed to the walls to establish the amount of movement

Special markers were fixed to the walls to establish the amount of movement

The Vale of Glamrogan Council says the Penarth Head Viewing Platform is now open again to the public - but the extra safety fencing installed as an additional precaution - is to remain in place

The Vale of Glamorgan Council says the Penarth Head Viewing Platform is now open again to the public – but the extra safety fencing installed as an additional precaution – is to remain in place

The council now claims the result of the survey work shows that the Viewing Platform is  “safe for the public to enjoy” – but nevertheless is keeping in place the new rows of emergency post-and-wire fencing it had installed as an additional safety measure  to keep people further back from the cliff edge than the original iron railings had.

A zig-zag crack continues down the courses of bricks - indicating subsidence beneath the building

A zig-zag crack continues down the courses of bricks – indicating subsidence beneath the building

A council press release says “cracks had appeared in one of the side walls along an expansion joint “[ PDN Note:Photographs taken in November show one of the cracks  runs diagonally across an expansion joint – and not “along” it.]

The council says the “investigations into the structure have indicated it has not deteriorated further and there is also no evidence of any ground movement around the feature, meaning visitors are free to use it again.”

However the council is to “continue to monitor the site and work with the contractors who constructed the platform to repair any cracking in the near future”.

The council also asserts that the platform “allows wheelchair access with clear views over the boundary wall”  – but several wheelchair users have reported that the walls are, in fact, too high for them to see over the top.

The recesses in the ramparts are meant to contain plaques pointing out Steepholm and Flatholm... but actually are aligned towards nearby homes

The recesses in the ramparts are meant to contain plaques pointing out Steepholm and Flatholm… but actually are aligned towards nearby homes

The Vale Council statement does not mention the mis-aligned recesses for information plaques, which were wrongly-installed in the parapet of the structure and were lined-up with the windows  of nearby homes rather than being directed out to sea.

 

About NewsNet

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. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to VALE COUNCIL RE-OPENS CRACKED PENARTH HEAD VIEWING PLATFORM

  1. sjleworthy says:

    So we can all ‘enjoy’ it again?

  2. Chris David says:

    I have to say its not nearly as bad as some make out. By that I mean its design and its purpose. I’m not qualified to comment on its build quality. I’m also unsure how Burnet et all could just sanction this. But with a few plants around it I think it will improve and its quite a nice design internally. Also the views are excellent.

    • Richard says:

      It’s an unnecessary behemoth, built without any consultation and now giving a good view of cracks.

      • Chris David says:

        I’m not a civil or constructive engineer so I wouldn’t know. The fact it was railroaded by one or more of the dodgy brigade is worrying. However as far the aesthetics- as stated by others that’s entirely subjective. The views are excellent. As for the necessity- so are may things. Sometimes its called art- a very important part of our development. That’s what separates us from the other great apes- our subjectivity.Oscar Wilde come to mind “Some people…….”

    • sjleworthy says:

      views are excellent (at least for non wheel chair users), but as for the aesthetics and design of the structure? well, tis all purely subjective of course 🙂

      • Chris David says:

        Yes indeed subjective- but the internal design is quite nice in my and even my young son’s opinion.

  3. Paul says:

    “has now announced the structure has been re-opened to the public.”
    Its already “open”, in the wrong places, thats why it was closed…

  4. snoggerdog says:

    so its just settling down,——-down———-down.

  5. So if we get groups of people visiting this ‘folly’ they will be perfectly safe? . The cracks that appeared did so in less than two years of it being built and as that being the case give it another year or two and we may see more evidence of subsidence. But despite any or all reassurances this structure is too heavy, its built in a unstable location and wether its a couple of years or a dozen years or more this eyesore is a disaster waiting to happen . So gone is that other ‘pipedream’ of a walkway around the base of this cliff, with this well over a hundred tons of stone waiting for a weakness in the ground to be able to rip the cliff face away by its crushing weight and fall 200 feet which its going to do at some time in the near future I wouldn’t like to be walking on a pathway below . So one folly has now cancelled out another, ! unless of course you don’t consult the public and the experts before erecting , as was done with the cliff top liability.

  6. One more remark after monitoring this monstrosity for 3 or 4 months they now assume its safe to use? that is nowhere near long enough , and as this winter has been mild thus far we need to know how safe this thing will be if water gets into those cracks and freezes . The monitoring is as much a joke as the platform is.

  7. AK says:

    But what is the point in a viewing platform which does not tell visitors what they are able to see – because some eedjit signed it off pointing in the wrong direction?

  8. I must say i’m really glad that Chris Davids Son approves of it !!!! its always nice to have an experts opinion. We do not expect scientists and professors to be the kind of people to use this forum even though its open to them id they care to . This comment section is for the layman or should I say the ‘man, or women in the street’ to give theirs views or opinion on events and other matters.

  9. Chris David says:

    Well My son is a graduate engineer in design. Oh and I’m heartened you’re in control and can dictate whom can or should use this forum, even though you’ve failed to see your diatribe is contradictory.

  10. Louise says:

    This concrete monstrosity should never have been built. The views can be enjoyed without standing inside a poorly built structure that is ugly, unfinished and unnecessary.

  11. Grey local says:

    Unfortunately we are stuck with it for now. It probably won’t be there that long with the gradual cliff erosion as it is. So stop complaining, wait for the elections and use your democratic vote to bring change.

  12. David Moorcraft says:

    There was a very heavy WWII gun emplacement built on the same cliff top, but nearer the Cardiff end, and situated further inland than the current “folly”, yet where is it now ?
    The whole lot fell on the beach below several years ago; you may still see pieces of the enormous concrete slab with its slewing ring just visible.
    And that was put there ? Just seventy years ago !
    Any bets on how long the Observation Platform will stay where it is ?
    I used to go to that Park regularly – over a period of 65 years – I don’t go there now – it depresses me.

  13. MrTea says:

    There are about 5 plaque recesses, some of which are aspect-ed to Flat Holm and Steep Holm. I’m no fan but fair do’s, the recesses are probably in the right place.

    • NewsNet says:

      The Vale of Glamorgan Council admitted to the Penarth Tourist and Visitor Association in 2015 that the plaques had been installed in the wrong positions. They have not yet been moved.

Comments are closed.