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Barry Island hotel plans abandoned

PLANS to build a hotel in Barry Island have been abandoned after negotiations between the Vale of Glamorgan council and the developer fell through.

Talks started 11 months ago with the Warner Group to build a hotel, leisure facilities and to reopen the adjacent grade II toilet block on Nells Point which is currently used as a car park.

Steffan William of Plaid Cymru, who is chairman of the council’s Environment and Scrutiny Committee, said: “It seems interest has waned in the negotiations. There were mixed feelings about the project. It was supposed to be an all inclusive hotel, but for adults only. But that would exclude families who often visit the island.

“The island is reliant on this kind of tourism, what I call ‘bucket and spade’. The council needs to be more proactive and look at moving in a more high end and green direction. For example, Barry doesn’t have enough restaurants, which we could build without impacting on the business that’s already there.”

The decision has pleased some businesses. Mark Vockins, 41, owner of Quasars said: “I’m glad it’s not coming. It was adult only and it would have taken 800 car parking spaces away which would have affected business.”

Marcus Goldsworthy, Vale of Glamorgan Council Head of Regeneration and Planning, said: “The Council’s negotiations with the preferred bidder for the Nell’s Point site have now ceased.

“Despite our best efforts, it was not possible for the council to provide the level of financial support which the bidder was seeking and the council will now review its options for re-marketing the site.”

Cllr Lis Burnett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said: “The complexities of developing a site such as Nell’s Point should not be underestimated, nor should the very challenging market conditions in which all likely developers for the site are currently operating.

“The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s economic development team put a huge amount of work into the marketing of the site and the subsequent negotiations with the preferred bidder. Over the past 11 months we have held countless meetings with the bidder, their agents, and representatives of Welsh Government, and have together explored a number of different options in an attempt to bring forward the proposed development.

“During these negotiations we made a number of suggestions to the developers on how they could close their funding gap. That proved to be the ultimate obstacle and despite the concerted efforts of the Council the developers took the decision to withdraw from the deal.

“In light of this we will now be taking stock of our options. The council remains fully committed to seeing the site developed. We will not, however, compromise on quality.

“Any future use of the site has to be one that complements the extensive regeneration and other improvements to Barry Island in recent years. Our carefully considered regeneration programme has seen year on year increases in visitor numbers and we will not jeopardise its success in search of a quick fix.”

The council refused to comment on the specific amount of money involved in the negotiations because they said: “it may jeopardise any negotiations in the future.”

The Warner Group was asked for a comment but nobody was available.

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