Barry Island’s amusements offering owes much to the Pleasure Park. So when Henry Danter tried to improve it further, much to the support of his business community colleagues, things were looking good for the town. Until, that is, planning bureaucracy stepped in.
Neighbouring businesses have shown support for Barry Island Pleasure Park as the attraction’s new extension comes under fire from the Vale of Glamorgan council.
Planners are calling for the removal of the building, frame and all associated materials in order to “restore the land and perimeter wall to their former condition”, stating that the pleasure park’s development was built without the correct planning permission.
Owner Henry Danter said he was “gutted” over the news, believing that he was operating within planning restrictions.
“When we took over, Barry had one of the worst amusement parks in the world, and we have turned that around,” commented Danter, who has transformed the attraction since he acquired it 2015.
“I don’t think we need planning permission. If they think this is detrimental to Barry, they must be joking.”
A neighbourhood shopkeeper agreed with Danter, stating that she and her neighbouring traders fully supported the removal of the old wall and the new extension.
“Not having the wall has increased our business. We’ve got more people coming through,” commented Joanne Kennedy, who runs a Spar store opposite the park front.
“With the wall down people just flow through and we can see that, with it up they didn’t. Without this here we wouldn’t be here.”
The council’s response has only served to widen the perspective gap between the various parties. According to the council’s report, the extension creates a “blank, uninteresting and oppressive frontage” when the arcade is closed – a point that has been accused of being contradictory raising the question of how something can be both “blank” and “oppressive”.
Planners are also calling for the restoration of the apparently less “uninteresting” partition wall, which was demolished as part of the renovations – the very thing the local business community seemed to be opposed to in the first place.
Danter said he wants to urgently meet council officials ahead of a planning committee meeting later this week, a move likely designed to explore ways of reducing the bureaucracy versus community benefit void that seems to have arisen.