South East Wales

Barry Island fair: Pleasure park plan deferred

James Corden as Smithy, Ruth Jones as Nessa, Rob Brydon as Bryn and Melanie Walters as Gwen on the Barry Island log flume in Gavin and Stacey
Image caption James Corden as Smithy, Ruth Jones as Nessa, Rob Brydon as Bryn and Melanie Walters as Gwen on the Barry Island log flume in Gavin and Stacey

A decision on plans for a multimillion-pound redevelopment of a famous seaside fair which featured in TV comedy Gavin and Stacey has been deferred.

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

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

Vale of Glamorgan council deferred a decision for a site visit.

Owner Ian Rogers said: "It's very disappointing, but it's just a site visit."

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.

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 hit comedy Gavin and Stacey, the story of the romance between a Barry girl and an Essex boy.

Nessa, the character played by Ruth Jones, who co-wrote the series with fellow star James Corden, ran an amusement arcade in the fair.

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

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

"Given the nature of the existing use and the importance of the site to the tourism function of Barry Island as a whole, it is considered essential for the development to be focused upon commercial leisure and tourism uses that can strengthen the existing package of attractions and encourage more people to visit the island," said Rob Quick, the council's director of environmental and economic regeneration.

"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.

"Having regard to the above, it is considered that the proposed development would widen the seasonal spread of tourism activities at Barry Island and assist the maximisation of tourist opportunities."

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

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