RESIDENTS have vented their fury after meadowland at a Barry beauty spot was turned into a visitor car park on Bank Holiday Monday.

Picnic tables and benches are situated a short distance from the main car park, but the council said increased demand meant more space was needed.

Mum Rebecca Haysom, of Barry, said: “I thought it was disgraceful. I went there to see the beauty of Porthkerry with my kids to play football and have a picnic and right in the middle we were met with a car park.

"I know the town want tourism but at what cost to our beauty spot, the spot in which they have come to visit. They were not letting people park outside the cafe. The overflow by Fish Ponds hill wasn’t even full neither was the square car park, yet they were allowing them to park on the meadow which is a country park.”

Jeff Heathfield and his wife Mandie, of Barry, said they were “outraged”.

Mr Heathfield said: “It seems no land is free from the relentless money-making schemes councils magic up. “Now they have done it once, will this be the norm?

“It beggars belief the thinking of the decision-makers within the council.

“I’m surprised they haven’t tried parking cars on Barry Island beach. We need to protect our beautiful open space, not ruin it.”

Eighty-year-old Norman Bailey, of Barry, said the council had been “inconsiderate”.

“The drive or walk along the road towards the café where the wardens cottage office is was totally spoilt by seeing the mass of cars parked in this long field," he said.

"That field should be left alone, and not be used for parking cars.

"Porthkerry Park is a very precious place for everyone to enjoy.

"Keep it that way please.”

Baruc Plaid Cymru councillor Steffan Wiliam said the situation should not have been allowed to happen and that parking should be limited with visitor numbers sustainable.

“People don’t want to visit a car park,” he said.

Vale council operational manager for regeneration, Bob Guy said the move was made in order to accommodate the large number of people travelling to Porthkerry Park due to the hot weather.

He said: "This is a step taken by the council to meet exceptional visitor demand and allow as many people as possible to enjoy the country park.

“The warm weather brought large numbers of people to Porthkerry over the Bank Holiday weekend and without using the meadow we would not have been able to accommodate so many cars.

“This area is used as it has a service ramp allowing access for such things as maintenance and events.

“We have charged for parking on Bank Holidays for many years to cover the costs associated with traffic management.”