Ceredigion holiday park accused of ‘land grabbing’

By Alexandra Bánfi   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 12th June 2022 9:16 am
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Aber Bay and Ceredigion Council confirmed the cordoned off car park, adjoining Clarach Beach, is private land and belongs to the caravan park

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A Ceredigion holiday park has been accused of “land grabbing”, after cordoning off a car park.

Ownership of Clarach holiday park Aber Bay, formerly known as Glan y Môr, was taken over by Allens Caravans Estates LTD in 2017.

Since the take over, the existing clubhouse has been demolished and a new reception building, comprising a pool, restaurant, reception and offices, is currently under construction.

But concerns have been raised after the development cordoned off a car park next to the beach.

An Aberystwyth resident, who did not want to be named, called it a “back handed way of denying access to the beach”, and suggested the cordoning off of the land could cause damage to the nearby footbridge.

Ceredigion County Council confirmed the land in question is private, but that officers will be visiting the site to “assess any potential impacts on the footbridge or other council assets”.

Allens Caravans said the land in question and slipway belongs to Aber Bay, and the area will “currently remain cordoned off for the safety of coastal path walkers and customers”.

But, in addition to this, the resident said Natural Resources Wales (NRW) “periodically bring a large excavator to the beach at Clarach on a low loader which parks on what was the car park”, it is then used “to clear out the mouth of the river after high tides”.

Carol Fielding, Ceredigion Environment Team Leader for NRW, said they were aware the carpark, which they confirmed they use to complete works on the river outfall across the beach, had been closed. But they are yet to have discussion with the landowners about future access.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said: “A section of this land had always been used as a turning area for the bus service, and the whole of the land as a car park, used extensively by local people and tourists alike.

“The whole of this land has now been cordoned off using large boulders and no access for parking is allowed. In fact the area close to the footbridge is being built up with large rocks which will undoubtable lead to problems with high tides, forcing the sea water through a narrow channel and in all likelihood causing damage to the footbridge. Access to the boat slipway has also been blocked off.

“There seems to be an element of land grabbing here and also a back handed way of denying access to the beach.”

A spokesperson for Ceredigion council said: “Ceredigion County Council understands that the land in question is in private ownership but does not hold any further information in that regard.

“Officers will be visiting the site shortly to assess any potential impacts on the footbridge or other Council assets as a result of the works being undertaken.”

Allens Caravans added, to date, they haven’t heard “issues raised by users or the coastal footpath authorities”, adding “we have worked very closely over the last few years with the coastal footpath people”.

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