RESIDENTS staged their own get-together at Barry’s Cemetery Approach after councillors official opened the new gardens last month.

Cemetery Approach campaigners and petitioners met at the revamped area on Saturday, June 8 to reflect on the campaign to save the open space and to view the work that had been completed.

The £550,000 scheme, a joint venture between Barry Town and the Vale of Glamorgan councils, cleared and landscaped the area which was fenced off and unused prior to 2008 - the year when residents fought a successful campaign to save it from a housing association’s plans for residential development.

More than 12,000 people signed a petition and wrote letters objecting to the Newydd housing scheme which was rejected by the Vale council’s planning committee.

A resident, signing the Save Cemetery Approach group’s petition, had recalled the land had been gifted to Barry as public open space and a Glamorgan Archives search, by campaigners, confirmed the status.

The new park will also see the construction of a small community building.

The land will be leased to BTC.

BTC which will then take over control and maintenance of the new park.

People attending the event were pleased with the layout and exchanged views on items that needed attention.

Needs for waste bins, possible street lighting, anti-vandal measures and a few benches in the shade, were identified.

It was noted the gardens need time to mature but people were uncertain regarding the timing of the proposed community building and the current management and maintenance arrangements.

Nic Lanagan, vice chairman of the action group, said: “It was good that so many people had taken the time to see the greatly improved Cemetery Approach. After a long campaign against the proposed high-density development it was enjoyable to spend an hour with some of the people who had achieved so much.”