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Penarth Esplanade traders frustrated over seating issue

THE owner of Casa De Margarita, a popular Penarth Esplanade restaurant, has spoken out about their frustration with Vale of Glamorgan Council over the removal of seating later this year.

The seating currently blocks 14 car parking spaces on the Esplanade.

Margaret Studt, owner of Casa De Margarita, has been in contact with the council over the issue, as her business is directly affected.

She says she had approached the council about running a free shuttle bus so that there would be enough places to park so that people can visit the Esplanade without removing the extra seating.

Ms Studt said: “I have proposed providing a free shuttle bus service from the top car park to transport people down to the Esplanade and this will provide at least 50 spaces.

“Disappointingly, the council has refused to explore this further.

“What I find really frustrating is the lack of consultation and engagement from the council. Rather than work with local businesses, they’ve imposed decisions without discussing the impacts with us first.

“The shuttle bus service would be completely free and funded by us, but they won’t even have the conversation.”

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Some believe that more parking is essential, as without it people with mobility issues will be unable to visit the Esplanade unless the current spaces are free.

However, others disagree with this and believe that the vibrancy the seating brings to the seafront should be retained.

Owner of Beachcliff, Richard Hayward, said: “The outside space and current offering is finally attracting people to Penarth for relaxation and enjoyment, which is what the town deserves after a harsh couple of years.

“This being removed in favour of 14 parking spaces across three businesses is nonsensical, especially as people are rightfully still wary of Covid and do not wish to sit inside.”

Others agree, with a petition started by resident Jemma Angove, 39.

The petition has since reached 3,252 signatures online at the time of writing.

At Beachcliff premises, Casa De Margarita and Sundowners Champagne Bar, a further 2,000 paper-based petitions have been signed.

The traders are due to present the petition to council offices soon.

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