The “Shared Regulatory Services Department” which works for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff Council and Bridgend County Borough Council – is opposing proposals to revive the operation of the swing-bridge in Penarth Marina.
The swing-bridge provides local residents with a convenient means of crossing the waterway at its narrowest mid-point at Town Quay – the section of waterway which links the Inner and Outer basins of the yacht marina.
The pedestrian swing bridge rotates through 90 degrees to open and close, and was one of the earliest features installed at the Marina in the 1980s – long before any houses were built around the yacht basins
However since June 2016 the bridge – which is actually owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council – has been “parked” and out of action.
Bridge operators, Penarth Quays Marina, informed local residents that an ” upgrade” (to meet the latest Health & Safety Standards) would mean that every time the bridge swings open for a yacht to pass through, there would be a 50-second-long interlude of flashing lights, high volume buzzers and loud Tannoy announcements – in Welsh and in English.
A campaign by Marina residents to restore the bridge to normal operations is still on the desk of the Vale of Glamorgan planning department. Only 39 local people sent in responses to an appeal by the local Residents’ Association to get the bridge working again
Now the latest blow to the residents’ hopes has come from Joint Regulatory Services which has written to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning department stating its opposition to putting the swing bridge back into action
Rebecca Athay of Joint Regulatory Services says that on a site visit to the bridge on November 24th last year “Background noise readings were taken between 13:50 and 14:15. Background noise levels were averaging around 43dB. When the swing bridge started operating noise levels spiked at 82dB and it took 3 minutes to go back to 43dB (this is including the barrier opening on the other side of the bridge).”
Ms Athay goes on to say “82dB is very loud, but on top of the noise level movement of the bridge included a grinding and banging noise would contribute to being both intermittent and tonal. Reopening of the bridge will have a severe adverse impact on residential amenity, as the closest is 3 meters from the mechanics of the bridge.”
Many motorboats and all the yachts in Penarth Marina’s inner basin required the Swing Bridge to be opened before they could enter or leave – as is illustrated by this video shot in 2011 .
Penarth Quays Marina has already stated its opposition to re-opening the swing bridge – and proposes to leave it where it is – parked and stationary – in perpetuity.
The ball is now in the court of the Vale of Glamorgan’s planning department.