“GLAMPING” SHOULD BE ALLOWED AT COSMESTON – SAYS FORMER PENARTH MAYOR

High-end campers might have been able to choose a safari tent – like this one- for “glamping” at Cosmeston – if the council committee hadn’t rejected the money-spinning idea


The chairman of the Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association (PTVA) Mr Anthony Ernest says camping SHOULD be allowed at Cosmeston Country Park.

Mr Ernest – a former Mayor of Penarth and a former Conservative councillor for the Plymouth Ward –  has welcomed proposals for camping, or “glamping”, [ up-market camping] at Cosmeston which have been developed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Glamping “pods” like these in America could have been the kind of accommodation offered at Cosmeston…but only if opposition to the scheme can be overcome.

The camping scheme received a set back last week when the Vale Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee voted against the introduction of such a scheme.

Chairman of the Penarth Tourist and Visitor Association  Anthony Ernest

However Mr Ernest says that although the camping scheme has “received criticism from some quarters” he says the innovative proposals, brought forward by the Vale Council, are a reflection of the wishes of many potential visitors, who would like to stay in this part of Wales, which at present is poorly served for caravans and camping, by a few small sites relatively remote from the town.”

As a former Vale of Glamorgan councillor Mr. Ernest was – until 2012 – responsible for the Country Parks in the Vale. He says many potential  visitors had told him they would have liked to have had the opportunity to stay for a few days in the Penarth area.

Mr Ernest says “Penarth needs the income generated by visitors to the town, and the recent closures of restaurants and shops shows that we are not immune to the wider economy which has seen business rates and rents rise beyond the reach of business owners, who bring so much variety and colour to the Penarth scene. If we were to have camping or caravan facilities here, this would bring in many visitors who can provide a major income stream for local businesses, without impacting in any way on the regular use of the park by local people”

The Penarth Tourist and Visitor Association – Mr Ernest says – recognises that local residents are “understandably  protective of what they feel is “their” park”  – but says that “If  Penarth is not to suffer a continued downturn in its fortunes, it needs to bring in new high-spend visitors who will buy food, drink and gifts locally, and put extra revenue into both businesses and the Council at the same time.”

If the Vale Council decides to pursue the scheme any further [ following the negative vote of the Environment Committee] he’s asking that the PTVA be consulted at an early stage.

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18 Responses to “GLAMPING” SHOULD BE ALLOWED AT COSMESTON – SAYS FORMER PENARTH MAYOR

  1. They call this camping‽ These are just chalets under a false and misleading name.

  2. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Presumably Mr Ernest is missing the point that local residents would be denied access to part of the park that they fund through their council tax to keep open in favour of blocking it off for the customers of a private firm?

    I have no objection to sensible commercial projects as long as they are in keeping with the ethos of the park, but why is it considered a good idea to cordon off part of one of the most attractive parts of the park which is currently enjoyed for it’s solitude and calming quietness by local residents many of whom point out that they use this particular part of the park as a small haven to walk in and get away from the stress and pressures of modern life and the surrounding ever expanding urban environment.

    Presumably not to be surrounded by a commercial area with accompanying shower and toilet blocks and associated car parking spots for the visitors.

    If ( and I stress, if ) this is thought to be such a great idea then why not position any such scheme at the back of the park on the less attractive gravelly surfaced fields rather than hijack part of what many people consider to be one of the most picturesque and peaceful areas of the park.?

    Lets also of course not forget that it was the management of the park under the last Conservative administration that resulted in the decision for the eventual significant downgrading of the medieval village by the incoming Labour administration

    The report mentions that Mr Ernest was the cabinet member during that period up until 2012.

    I’ve no objection to glamping pods as such, or people enjoying staying in them, but on for example a private holiday site owned and run by private landowners rather than publically owned parks which has installed such accommodation then the local populace who own the land involved and fund it’s upkeep are not displaced and denied access to the land in favour of tourists are they?

    And are we not also forgetting the Vales LDP still current proposals to construct and site a 500 car Park and Ride Bus Station within the confines of the park?

    The previous Labour party proposals to construct two huge towers with wakeboarding wire on the main lake, a steel shipping container shoved on site for equipment storage.

    Have succesive administrations forgotten what Cosmeston ( and Porthkerry ) Park is actually about?

    • Philip Rapier says:

      How sad to be deliberately advancing a contrarian view to deflect from the lack lustre performance of the Penarth Visitor Association and their failure to achieve anything of note for years.
      The Penarth Visitor Association Primary School Standard Website was last updated in 2015 which says it all about their progressive views. Always scrounging around off the Council Tax Payers to cover their extravagant leaflet costs as well. Time it was wound up as it is actually damaging the image of Penarth.

    • Keith Smith says:

      I fear I have little chance of avoiding your biting sarcasm Mr Mahoney but your observation about council tax payers providing their money to keep open a section of Cosmeston is puzzling. Surely they would benefit financially if the council were to secure an additional income stream, hence reducing their financial burden. Putting aside your esoteric assumptions of the value the bulk of Penarth and district citizens place on the tranquility of this part of the park I wonder if your views would reach a more influential audience in council chamber rather than this blog. I believe your colleague and Tory conspirator Bob Penrose has culture as part of his cabinet brief and is presumably in a position of influence.

      • Kevin Mahoney says:

        Thank you for your observations and query Keith.

        Yes, any extra income raised will help offest the cost of running the country park. For instance when the controversial wakeboarding scheme proposing to disrupt the main lake at the park was still a real probability. Enquiries into the financial plan put forward as the case for progressing and benefit to the coffers of the council initially appeared to hit a stumbling block as no one appeared to have any figures.

        Eventually the paltry sum of £8,000 pa was the projected sum elicited from a reluctant council. The cost of disturbing the wildlife and public enjoying the main lake plus the erection of two large cable bearing towers and plonking down a shipping container next to the cafe ……………… £8,000pa!

        As mentioned I have no objections to good ideas fitting in with the ethos of the park raising extra income but not when those proposals help destroy the very point of a flora and fauna protecting country park enjoyed by local residents.

        In regards my views reaching a more influential audience in the council chamber, you could well be right.

        Which is why I did exactly that just last week as highlighted in the article on this subject on this very news site.

        Thank you for your suggestion and you are correct, Bob Penrose is a member of the cabinet and I’m sure has his own views on this subject and no doubt will be happy to share them with you if contacted. Both he and I of course are Independent councillors and as the title indicates are independent of each others actions and views, sometimes these views coincide and sometimes they don’t, dependent on whichever independent non party dictated views we hold on any particular subject.

        Thank you once again for your input into this important debate

    • Keith Smith says:

      Is my memory playing tricks or do I recall an email, a few years ago, suggesting possible benefits from allowing part of Cosmeston to be used for a Bluestone type venture. I can’t remember the authorship of the email but I think it was someone within Council.

  3. penarthian says:

    Sour Grapes me thinks Mr Mahoney!!!

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      Thank you for your response Penarthian.

      Unfortunately It’s a trifle difficult to comment on a 6 word line of random words.

      If you would care to expand on your statement I would be more than happy to confirm or deny whether sour grapes are indeed in play here.

      Thank you once again for your comprehensive, insightful, forensic observations on the subject.

  4. 249ers says:

    Where in the park is the proposed site?

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      It’s 4 acres in the field to the left of newly tarmac covered path which leads off Lavernock Rd opposite St Mary Well Bay Rd which runs into the currently very quiet valley created by the field and the next field over enjoyed by many many local residents on their walks.

  5. Johnabutt says:

    This proposal should never have seen the light of day! Any other similar proposals should similarly be given the boot! Let these people who want campers and visitors put them up on their property, not the common heritage of everyone, not to mention the wildlife.

  6. snoggerdog says:

    & maybe we can let the travelling communlty come & go, glamping for the well heeled,caravans for the shoezones.

  7. Taxpayer says:

    Put the new refugees in them.😂

  8. Andrew Worsley says:

    Have I missed something here??? I thought Cosmeston was a Country Park? , shows how misled one can get ?! I’m sure i’m not alone in thinking that some people just cannot let things be. We had some sort of stupid zip wire idea , when that kite crashed we had motor boats proposed on a lake with ducks and swans , you couldn’t make it up , but apparently someone does , now we want an exclusive , elite sort of camping site , I think a part of the park was to be set aside for travellers too ? unless I read that wrong .ITS A PARK …………….NOT A FAIRGROUND ……… NOT A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN …………..LEAVE THE B….Y PLACE ALONE ………… if you vandals in the offices are getting itchy feet from inactivity go and chop some more trees down , your good at that , healthy trees or not ,and then we read about pollution levels at Cogan going up, they chop down oxygen giving trees and we get worried about pollution , Barry opens a new incinerator destination for the fumes is Penarth when the wind is right , as I say you couldn’t make it up. Oh and HinkleyPoint is to dump nuclear sludge mid channel close to Penarth , so in future if you go for an evening swim your likely to come out of the water lit up like a Christmas tree.!!???

  9. Fishhenge says:

    If it was such a brilliant idea someone would have already done it. There is a huge campsite 1200 metres away from Cosmeston that is essentially closed, and why? Because the campers regularly trashed the place, which is exactly what will happen to Cosmeston with this bird brained proposal.

  10. Fishhenge says:

    “If Penarth is not to suffer a continued downturn in its fortunes, it needs to bring in new high-spend visitors who will buy food, drink and gifts locally, and put extra revenue into both businesses and the Council at the same time.” What era does this dinosaur live in? Penarth is Wales premier locations to live. Continued downturn in fortunes? Get real.

  11. Andrew Worsley says:

    Glad im not the only one to recognise the downturn in Penarths fortunes , from shops playing musical chairs , half baked ideas from various bodies , more premises stood empty , like the pet shop ………. potholes ignored and now the dumping of nuclear waste just off shore …………..talk about the kiss of death!!!!!.

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