Natural Resources Wales (NRW) – the Welsh Government organisation charged with protecting the environment of Wales – has joined the growing clamour of opposition against the former Vale of Glamorgan Labour-adminstration’s proposals to set up a commercial wake-boarding centre at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park .
N.R.W says in a frank no-holds-barred letter for the Vale of Glamorgan Council that it did not receive details of the wakeboarding scheme until May 25th – [ 21 days after the election in which the unpopular and heavily-criticised Labour administration was thrown out of office] .
The NRW says “We have significant concerns with the proposed development as submitted “ – and goes on to list a series of “requirements” – making it clear that it will lodge formal objection is the council doesn’t meet its demands .
The NRW points out that the proposed wakeboarding circuit is within an SSI [ a Site of Special Scientific Interest] where the Starry Stonewort [ Nitellopsis obtusa] grows. The NRW says it considers the proposed development has the potential to damage these plants.
The NRW also castigates the Vale Council’s inadequate “ecological assessment” and has to remind the council that – as part of a joint project – water voles are to be re-introduced to Cosmeston Lakes this year.
Cuttingly, the NRW points out – no doubt to the embarrassment of Vale Council planning officers – that their “ecological assessment” has not taken this into account .
Today Vale Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully) says of the NRW’s letter “It appears, on the face of it, pretty damning to me – and one must really wonder as to how much the outgoing [Labour] administration – and the council officer who is trying to push this plan through – really examined the implications before presenting them.”
Cllr Mahoney also takes a swipe at the new Conservative administration in the Vale, saying “It doesn’t really reflect that well on the incoming administration either, – considering that they just allowed the application from themselves to progress anyway” and also notes a statement in the Penarth Times from Conservative Cllr Jonathan Bird “praising the scheme”.
In a rebuke to all concerned, Cllr Mahoney says “Surely these should have been aspects looked at by the Vale before the idea ever got off the ground?”