South East Wales

Barry Island fair: Redevelopment plan is approved

Mathew Horne as Gavin and Joanna Page as Stacey
Image caption All the fun of the fair: Mathew Horne as Gavin and Joanna Page as Stacey

Plans for a multimillion-pound redevelopment of a seaside fair which featured in TV comedy Gavin and Stacey have been approved.

Barry Island Pleasure Park was rescued in 2010 from closure after a drop in visitor numbers.

The redevelopment will see the 4.7 acre site turned into a mix of restaurants and cafes, a cinema, bowling alley and 124 flats.

Owner Ian Rogers said he was "over the moon" with the decision in favour.

The fair, close to the beach, has been an attraction since 1920. It was well used by holidaymakers who went to the nearby Butlins holiday camp, and after that site closed in 1986, it relied more on day trippers.

Image caption The log flume has been one of the park's main attractions

Poor weather conditions over recent summers had led to a drop in visitors, and in 2010 new tenants agreed a deal with the owner to run it for a year on a seasonal basis.

The park gained new fame when it featured in the BBC's Gavin and Stacey, the story of the romance between a Barry girl and an Essex boy.

The council said the site should still be used to attract people to the resort.

Vale of Glamorgan council unanimously approved the plans on Thursday, a month after deferring a decision for a site visit.

"I'm chuffed to bits and would love to leave my mark on Barry as my dad Kenneth did," said Mr Rogers.

"I'm for the town, I'm for Barry Island and we are going to put the place back on the map."

Work will start when the seasonal tenants leave in September.

'Reliant on sunshine'

Ahead of the vote, Rob Quick, the council's director of environmental and economic regeneration, said it was essential the development focused on leisure and tourism to strengthen existing attractions and encourage visitors.

"The proposed indoor leisure/entertainment centre would form the primary commercial use and, on the basis of the indicative plans, would serve as the hub of the development."

He added: "Since the closure of the Theatre Royal, there is no longer a cinema in Barry and, therefore, it is considered that this element of the scheme would provide a valued facility that is unavailable anywhere else in the town".

Mr Rogers told BBC Wales last month the complex would all be under one roof, with the resort reliant on sunshine.

Image caption An artist's impression of how the development at Barry Island would look

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