IT’S always good to show initiative, however a Barry man might have gone too far when he took it upon himself to build an allotment on a former playground, and now faces a £50,000 fine for fly tipping.

Simon Martin, 43, of Cadoxton, wanted to renovate his garden and make it less susceptible to damp by removing a bank.

To deal with the waste from this project, Simon came up with the idea of spreading soil from the dig over a disused playpark at the back of his property, which has had issues with fly tipping.

Fifteen-years-ago the playpark had a basketball court and football goals on it, however these were removed leaving the land empty and unused.

Simon reckons he’s shifted around 22 tonnes of soil and spread it across half the playpark, making raised beds with rough stone borders which he has invited the community to use to grow veg.

However Simon did this without the knowledge of the Vale Council and now he has had run-ins with enforcement officers who have told him to remove the soil, or he could face criminal prosecution for fly tipping.

Barry And District News:

(What the park looked like before)

Barry And District News:

(What it looks like now after Simon built an "allotment")

Simon began the project back in October 2022 explaining his idea on his YouTube channel Real Ale Craft Beer.

He was approached by the council on January 20 and then February 1, where “three burly blokes” came to his door to tell him the score.

Simon says he was left “frightened” and “scared” by the encounter, and says all he is doing is trying to help his community by creating a green space everyone can enjoy.

“We are in a cost of living crisis and I wanted people to have the opportunity to grow their own veg,” said Simon.

“They say I should have gone to the council first, but I felt with the bureaucracy I would never have got this off the ground.”

Barry And District News:

(Simon is attempting to renovate his garden saying it suffers from flooding, damp and a lack of sunlight)

Barry And District News:

(Simon has built raised beds on the park, with an estimated 22 tonnes of soil shifted)

Barry And District News:

(The abandoned playpark is apparently notorious for fly tipping)

Watch Simon's YouTube video as he explians his plan to rennovate his garden and build the allotment

Not everyone supports Simon’s project. When we visited him at the makeshift allotment, a neighbour came out and complained about “the mess” saying she’d “had enough”.

Simon knocked down the back wall of his garden, which he said was crumbling and dangerous, to give him access to the playpark, however the council have ordered him to repair the wall and, more pertinently, remove the allotment.

A Vale Council spokesperson said: “Shared community spaces can enhance many areas, but the site to the rear of Moxon Street is wholly inappropriate for this use and no permission or guidance was sought.

“The council’s waste enforcement team has given Mr Martin the opportunity to remove the waste from the site and return it to its previous condition, action that would otherwise cost the council thousands of pounds, before determining whether to consider a criminal prosecution.”

Barry And District News:

(Simon now uses skips after the council warned him)

Barry And District News:

(Not all residents in the area are happy with what Simon is doing)

Simon has now hired two skips which he is using to put his garden waste in, however he says it will be impossible to remove the allotment being on painkillers and suffering from back pain.

“There is not a lot of places to grow veg in the local area,” said Simon. “Hopefully they will leave us alone and let us use the land.”

Is Simon right to dispose of his garden waste on a disused playpark to make an allotment? Do you support him or not? Is the council being harsh or does Simon need to remove the waste properly? Let us know in comments.