THE planning department of the Vale of Glamorgan Council has approved the application for a lawful development certificate to tarmac the disused railway path running through Penarth.
The plan to lay a 2.5m-wide asphalt cover over the top of the current ‘stone dust’ gravel surface has come under protest from across Penarth, not least from a campaign group aiming to protect the green space between Sully Terrace and Archer Terrace from the development.
But planners met last night to discuss the application, and despite the presence of four Penarth councillors no objections were received.
Among them was Cllr Maureen Kelly-Owen who represents the Plymouth Ward and residents around the green space, described by locals as a ‘natural oasis’.
Cllr Kelly-Owen said the approval was confirmation that the local authority had the right to legally proceed with the plan, but did not give approval for the plan itself.
“Because they own the land there is no argument to say they can’t do it. But how it is done is another matter,” she added.
“I will be looking to persuade those responsible for designing it to do it as sensitively as possible.”
A number of public exhibitions have already been held over the scheme, but the lawful certificate means there will be no public consultation as no formal planning permission is required from the Vale to start work.
Leader of the Save Penarth Green campaign group, pensioner Hazel Bransfield, said: “They have given themselves carte blanche to do what they want.
“I think we were up against it from the start but you just can’t give in to these people.”

Director of development services Rob Thomas said: “The issuing of a certificate of lawful development demonstrates that planning permission is not required for the provision of an improved walking and cycling path. Cabinet will now consider the next stages, including the options available to the council in taking forward the scheme and ensuring that the path is improved and is accessible to all users. It is anticipated that a cabinet report will be presented within the next four weeks.”