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A POPULAR campsite in the Vale of Glamorgan situated near an ancient monument is set to be upgraded despite archaeological concerns.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council yesterday approved plans to develop the Heritage Coast Campsite in Monknash by adding two new tourist lodges and a campervan site and tent area with the provision of a new toilet shower block.

The campsite is adjacent to the Monknash Conservation Area and
the scheduled ancient monument, the Monknash Grange and Tithe Barn.

The grange – the remains of a medieval country house – dates back to the twelfth century.

Despite one member, Cllr Sally Hanks, opposing the plan – the reason why the application was brought to the planning committee for consideration – most councillors seemed to be in favour of the proposal.

Cllr Anthony Ernest said:

“Tourism brought many millions of pounds into the Vale. This is a good site, as indeed are most sites in the Vale. We should be promoting these on behalf of the council.”

Cllr Helen Payne echoed Cllr Ernest’s sentiment, adding that she thinks it would be a “fantastic development”.

Cllr Hanks’ chief concern in relation to the development was that she believed the area to be overpopulated with holiday accommodation. The councillor, who was not present at the planning committee meeting also raised concerns over a potential increase in traffic on the narrow lanes in the area.

Cllr Christine Cave said she agreed that there was a need for “great availability” of tourist accommodation in the Vale, but cautioned the countryside should be given “great consideration”.

She said:

“At some stage we have to say as a community, ‘let’s keep rural rural’.

“I would like to suggest that we are very careful indeed when we pass planning permission in the Vale.”

Gwent Glamorgan Archaeological Trust said that there was a likelihood the site contained archaeological resources as remains from the nearby grange were unlikely to be confined to the site of the Scheduled Monument.

Cadw also raised concerns about the potential visual impact on the scheduled monument. However, these have been mitigated by a number of conditions.

These include a condition that no development shall progress until a programme of archaeological work is secured, and landscaping to safeguard the “visual amenities and setting of historical assets”.

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