THE long-running saga of whether outside seating at Penarth's Esplanade took a new turn recently when the Vale of Glamorgan Council decided that it could remain for the time being.

The council had preciously said seating on the road introduced during lockdown would be removed by June 30.

However, this decision has since been reversed, with the seating now allowed to remain on a month-by-month basis while a public consultation is carried out.

Some were delighted at the news, including resident Jemma Angove who started a petition to save the seating that ended up with more than 3,000 signatures.

Ms Angove said: "I am very pleased the council have devided to relook at the outdoor seating as I believe this is a great asset to the Esplanade.

"I hope the council continue to involve the community in the decision making process and that there is a proper consultation that considers the views of all affected.

"I only hope that the council adequately notify the community on how they voice their views during this consultation (for and against) and when this needs to be done."

Ms Angove's sentiments about residents knowing how they can get involved were echoed by Peter Knowles, who owns a business on the Esplanade right next to the seating.

Mr Knowles thinks that the statement from the council regarding the consultation is "very vague and woolly".

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"What is the process for residents and businesses to get involved?," he said.

"How can they object? How will the options be presented?

"I hope this consultation works ends up with the best space for everyone, residents, visitors and businesses together.

"Hopefully it will not be on an ad-hoc basis with just those shouting loudest being heard."

But he said he remained hopeful that the move would provide a real opportunity to rethink outdoor spaces and to make the Esplanade better for everyone.


Conversely, there are those who disagree with the council's decision.

Mike Evans, a resident, said: "This move is absolute nonsense, no one has been consulted.

"Miles Punter, director of enivronment and housing, wrote a 50 page report which was approved by cabinet last week which clearly stated that without the temporary seating the businesses would cease to exist

"However, none of the other 10 Esplanade businesses were consulted.

"Approximately 22,800 residents live in Penarth yet the Vale administration did not ask them and caved in to an informal petition of some 3,000 - many of which live outside the CF64 postcode.

"The temporary seating licences were granted under emergency powers during Covid, therefore if the council are sincere and honest they would revoke the temporary licences until after the consultation period wherby a final decision can be made."

Owner of Esplanade business Pickford's Galley and Bar with Rooms, Huw Pickford, confirmed that he had not been consulted about the move.

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Furthermore, Mr Pickford added that he has recently been told by the council that he could not put any seating in the parking bays outside his business.

Seating could be put on the pavement, but not on the highway.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council have been contacted for comment.