Amusement park owner says rejecting holiday park plans would be great loss to Wales
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
The owner of a popular amusement park said it would be a great loss to Wales if his plans to to build a new holiday camp close to a children’s hospice are rejected.
Henry Danter, the man behind Barry Island Pleasure Park, has given regular updates about his dream to eventually have a log cabin park on land off Hayes Road in Sully to offer accommodation for the crowds that visit Barry Island.
However, the plans have been met with concern from families who use the nearby Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice.
More than 14,800 people have got behind a petition calling for Vale of Glamorgan Council not to approve plans for a holiday camp on Mr Danter’s land should one ever be submitted.
Ty Hafan said it would cause “inevitable disruption” to the tranquillity of their hospice site “where many children and families are facing, or coming to terms with, unimaginable loss”.
Mr Danter said those with concerns, including the nearby college for students with additional learning needs, Beechwood College, have nothing to worry about and called concerns over potential noise pollution “a complete fantasy”.
He said: “When I looked at [the site], I fell in love with it. I thought ‘this will be more than wonderful’, ‘this will be one of the greatest things that could happen to Barry Island and to the whole of Wales’.
“I have got [caravan parks] next to old peoples’ homes , next to churches and I have never known trouble from them.
“I have never had a complaint. Not one complaint.”
He went on to dismiss concerns that the park would attract “the wrong people” and pointed to the apartments on the other side of Ty Hafan on Hayes Point.
He said: “[The people who live in] those apartments are the same people that go on holiday in log cabins… there is really an injustice, not just to me, but to the whole of Wales.”
The only planning applications that have been put in so far relating to Mr Danter’s land are one for fencing, one to house storage containers and another for caravan storage.
An independent group of bereaved Ty Hafan families, service users and supporters, Protect Ty Hafan Peace Group, said that if an application was made for a holiday park, they would fight against it.
A spokesperson for the group added: “We are not opposed to a holiday park for the people of Wales, we are opposed to a holiday park on this piece of land, adjacent to a Children’s Hospice.”
Ty Hafan said it would also oppose any application for a holiday park on Mr Danter’s land if one was made, saying that the development of such a site next to the hospice and Beechwood College was “not an option”.
The application for fencing on Mr Danter’s land has been approved, but the others are awaiting a decision.
Vale of Glamorgan Council served a temporary stop notice on Mr Danter in December, 2023, after it said groundworks had been taking place on site without planning permission.
The notice was effective until January 18, 2024, but an enforcement notice was also served on Mr Danter in December, 2023 which took effect from January 19 and required works to cease permanently.
Clear the site
However, Mr Danter claimed that “it is totally untrue” that he acted without planning permission and that his only intention was to clear the site of brambles.
“We only want to clear the site to make it more presentable. It is an eyesore, it is a derelict site,” he added.
Mr Danter also said that his team notified the council before any work took place.
A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The Council issued a notice for work at this location to stop last year as, rather than simply vegetation clearance, what was taking place was the levelling and reprofiling of the site, which requires planning permission.
“This activity may also have led to the destruction of birds’ nests so Natural Resources Wales’ Wildlife Crime Officer was informed of the situation.
“Any proposal to construct a holiday park on this site would be subject to normal planning processes but so far nothing of this nature has been submitted.”
Mr Danter’s intention for the site in the immediate future is to use it for storage, but he maintains his dream to have a holiday camp there one day.
He said: “To turn it into a log cabin park, it would help all the businesses in Sully – the pub, restaurants and shops, and the same for Barry which is badly needed.
“I want to do it, but if I don’t get the support from the council I won’t do it, but it would be a great loss to the whole of Wales if we didn’t.”
A Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice spokesperson said: “The security, safety, privacy and tranquillity of our hospice and its sensory and memorial gardens is, and always will be, of paramount importance to us, as well as to those we have the privilege of caring for.
“This also matters to our thousands of wonderful supporters Wales-wide, and beyond, without whom we could not do what we do.
“While the site owner’s plans for a holiday park continue to be ‘talked up’ on his social media channels, the two applications he submitted last autumn are not for a holiday park, but for two one-hectare portions of the land to be used as storage for containers and caravans.
“Last September, and after having taken advice from planning consultants and other experts, Tŷ Hafan formally objected to these applications on a number of grounds.
“Should the landowner’s ‘plans’ for a holiday camp continue to evolve, as indicated by his regular postings on social media, we would like to continue to reassure the thousands of people who have expressed concern about any such ‘plans’ that Tŷ Hafan will oppose the development of any holiday park, or such amenities, on this land immediately next door to our site.
“This is because of the inevitable disruption that such a development would bring to the tranquility, privacy, safety and security of our hospice site, where many children and families are facing, or coming to terms with, unimaginable loss.
“Furthermore, we will continue to oppose any such plans for the benefit of the children with life-shortening conditions, and their families, who come from across Wales to use our facilities and to access the unique care and support we provide 24/7.
“Simply put, our view is that building a holiday camp to serve Barry, between a Sully-based children’s hospice and a residential college for young people with complex needs, is not an option.
“Finally, we would like to reiterate our heartfelt thanks for all the immense support we, and our friends at Beechwood College, have, and continue to receive, on this matter.”
A spokesman for Beechwood College said: “Beechwood College provides education and care for students with complex autistic conditions.
“Having a safe, calm environment is essential for the welfare of our students.
“By its very nature, any holiday camp development could reasonably be expected to involve much boisterous, noisy activity.
“So it is understandable that we are concerned how this will affect our students.”
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