A MULTI-MILLION pound proposal to transform a much-loved Barry Island attraction has careered off course - after Vale planners ditched outline plans for a mixed-use scheme.
Uncertainty for the future comes as travelling showman Vernon Studt oversees the annual temporary Barry Island Pleasure Park fairground as normal, on site, when gates open this Saturday (March 29) for Whitmore Bay resort’s summer season.
The Vale Council said the permanent redevelopment scheme had no “realistic” way of moving forward, but it was keen to talk to the site’s co-owners to secure an “appropriate” use which it deemed primarily leisure uses, indoor or outdoor.
Pleasure Park site co-owner Ian Rogers said, in 2012, when planning approval was given for the 1.9 hectares that he was “over the moon” and work could begin on securing its future.
Proposals outlined a mixed-use redevelopment, with a mixture of commercial, leisure, retail and residential of 124 flats, above commercial ground-floor uses.
A cinema, cafes, bars and restaurants as well as indoor leisure uses, were also on the table.
Space was set aside for a residential and care home with 344 car parking spaces also outlined.
Ian, who has representatives acting on his behalf, said: “It looks like nothing is ever going to happen. It was going to be a leisure development which finally put Barry Island on the map. I’ve said before I am going to be pushing up daisies. It’s starting to become a reality.”
The council said it granted outline planning permission for the redevelopment, subject to a S106 legal agreement, and said the site’s owners had not signed such an agreement and following discussions with a representative it had become apparent the scheme had no realistic prospect of being taken forward.
The council said in light of this it decided to finally dispose of the application. This, it said, meant the application was no longer valid.
The council's director of development services, Rob Thomas, said: “The run-down nature of the site is in stark contrast to the vast improvements being taken forward by the council elsewhere on the Island, and as a result it was not appropriate to allow the uncertainty surrounding the redevelopment of the funfair to continue any longer. I am however extremely eager to engage with the site’s owners with a view to securing an appropriate use for the site as soon as possible given its key location and relationship to the remainder of the island.”
He added: “The council has advised previously that it would be prepared to consider mixed uses as long as those include leisure and commercial uses which add to the facilities and attractions available at the island. As the condition of the site is deteriorating, all parties need to secure a reuse of the site as soon as possible. It is my view that the uncertainty surrounding the previous development proposal has not helped the situation."
Robin Williams, managing director of Asbri Planning, agents for the development, said his clients were unavailable for comment.