Local fishermen are warning that a large – and potentially dangerous – pit has now has opened-up in the neglected half of Penarth’s sea-front – the Northern Promenade.
The Northern Promenade extends as far to the North of the entrance to Penarth Puer as does the remainder of Penarth Esplanade to the South.
There are concerns that – with no warning signs or barriers in place – members of the public could easily fall into the unguarded pit – especially at night. As the route is a public footway, the hazard could expose the Vale Council to liability claims.
The Northern Promenade was originally built as a continuation of the Southern Promenade placing the pier entrance at what is actually the “mid-point” of the entire Esplanade.
What was once Penarth’s main brick-lined oval-section sewer, was laid within the Northern Promenade to carry sewage North along the base of the cliff and – via a dog leg bend out across the shore into the sea.
This sewer was subsequently adapted to deal with only storm-water and Penarth’s raw sewage was then pumped to Cog Moors treatment works instead via powerful pumps buried 25 feet beneath the Esplanade near Penarth Pier.
In the summer of 2014 Morgan Sindall – contractors of Welsh Water – carried out a £1,300,000 contract to lay a new replacement storm-water sewer pipe running north along the shore line which was covered with rock armour.
The old and disused Victorian brick sewer beneath the Northern Promenade was supposed to have been sealed off and made safe – but the structure of the neglected promenade has continued to deteriorate.
Some residents say that the Northern Promenade should now be properly renovated to the same standard as the rest of the Esplanade – complete with railings, – and with public benches which were a feature of the original Northern Prom when it was first built.
Such a scheme – they say – would have the added bonus of doubling the perceived length of the existing sea front and would ease crowd congestion in the summer months on the stretch between the Southern section of the Esplanade between the Pier to the yacht Club
UPDATE: 12/7/2017 The Vale of Glamorgan Council has now fenced off the hole and says repairs will be carried out within a few days’ time