Agenda item

Flintshire Coast Park


That the Committee note the strategic direction set out in the Coast Park Prospectus and support work to develop the creation of a Regional Flintshire Coast Park.


            In presenting the report the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) explained that Cabinet was seeking the views of the Committee with regard the development of the coastal park.


            The Access & Natural Environment Manager confirmed the Coastal Access Improvement Programme, which had commenced in 2006, had resulted in the opening of the Wales Coastal Path.  Work was undertaken to establish the strategic direction for access to the foreshore with the ideas of a Coast Park and TEP Consultancy produced a prospectus in 2014.  He provided an overview of the framework and the six hubs, but the detail remained on how this would be implemented, resourced and where it sat within the portfolios.   Since 2014, there had been successful grant aided projects and he said the appetite was still there for development especially following the pandemic, and it was felt that the Coastal Park should be explored again, potentially taking it to a formal designated regional park.  He outlined the benefits for the coastal park and what had been achieved during the last 10 years.  The Prospectus would need to be revisited to understand what had changed and the company who produced this had been approached to carry out this scoping work.  The Access & Natural Environment Manager reported on meetings held with officers involved in the recent work in the South Wales Valleys and he provided information on the range of topics discussed.  The benefit analysis, criteria for inclusion, identification of grant funded opportunities and how this would feed into supporting the levelling up fund application, was all being considered.


            Councillor Patrick Heesom wanted to ensure that this was fair and would benefit the whole county.  In response the Access & Natural Environment Manager agreed saying that from Flint to Talacre to Saltney there was a fantastic resource and asset for the county.  The identification of the six hubs in the 2014 prospectus and would be relooked at as part of this new scoping study.   The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) clarified that the Strategy document attached to the report was the same as the 2014 prospectus.  This was being reviewed to ensure it was fairer and covered the whole of the coastline.


            Councillor Heesom asked if this could be led by the Committee.  In response the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) confirmed that the proposal would be led by the County Council collaborating with all community councils and local members along the coastline.  Cabinet together with this committee would be able to scrutinise any developments which came forward which was why this had been presented for consideration.


            Councillor Paul Shotton referred to the Levelling Up Fund and asked if there would be a cost to businesses.  He praised the excellent work carried out by the coastal rangers and referred to the work at Connah’s Quay docks cutting back the undergrowth and his visit planting fruit trees with the High School pupils which was excellent.


            The Cabinet Member for Economic Development felt the county had undersold itself previously but with the Levelling Up funding it provided an opportunity to look at this again.  There were opportunities for the coastal park and a raft of other opportunities to support the rich environment especially the industrial heritage. At 1.06 and 1.07 it outlined the proposals with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Town and Community Councils who were all involved to maximise funding streams to bring this to fruition.


            Councillor Sean Bibby echoed the comments made and reported on the excellent work in his ward clearing the undergrowth.  This was a fantastic report and with the Levelling Up bids it was an opportunity to protect the industrial legacy and mitigate the depravation in a lot of these areas.


            Councillor Owen Thomas referred to the AONB and felt that improvements to the paths and parking should also be factored in. 


            The Cabinet Member for Streetscene referred to the map on page 160 and said the Point of Ayr and Talacre were the wrong way round.  Referring to Talacre he commented that the train station was already in place, and it would be great if people from Liverpool and Manchester could visit Talacre and Gronant on the train.  He said if the train stations were linked from Greenfield to Flint and Mostyn it would bring people to these areas using the train rather than cars.   He the referred to page 169 which stated that the masterplan for Talacre and Gronant was completed in 2010 and commented that it happened a lot later.


            The Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection said there was 25 miles of coastline which was one of Flintshire’s best kept secrets.  There was so much to offer especially the historical sites if it was made available.  


            The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) referred to the point raised by Councillor Paul Shotton and said the link between Connah’s Quay and Flint was a complex issue with work ongoing to try and find a resolution to it.  The Levelling Up Fund point was being led by Niall Waller with a timeline of Spring this year.   He confirmed the work to develop a Coastal Park could carry on irrespective of the Levelling Up Fund.  Regarding the Coastal Park there were no current requirements for business investment, but it may come later.


The recommendations were moved and seconded by Councillors Patrick Heesom and Paul Shotton.




That the Committee note the strategic direction set out in the Coast Park Prospectus and support work to develop the creation of a Regional Flintshire Coast Park.

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