Watersports fans rejoice: Wakeboarding Park on its way!
Talks of a Wakeboarding Park in Cardiff Bay have been going on for almost a year now, but the project has never been so close to completion.
The story began in April 2012, when Cardiff Bay Wakeboarding (CBW) asked Cardiff Council for permission to give a second life to Bute East Dock by creating there a Wakeboard and Waterski Park. Concerns were immediately raised by residents of Atlantic Wharf, regarding noise, pollution, wildlife and congestion, to name but a few. In December 2012 the Council was ready to give the green light, with conditions, after a visit that was planned for 2013. Now it is official, the Wakeboard and Waterski Park will see the light of day, and has 5 years to prove their detractors wrong.
Answering the concerns
Some inhabitants of the Bute Dock area were, and maybe still are, concerned about the Installation of a 735m long cable-tow waterski system and the consequences it would have on the environment. Cardiff Bay Wakeboarding proved their will to succeed by addressing the residents' concern in an article published by Wales On Line in May 2012, here is a summary of their answers:
The electric engine was assessed and found to be below the average background noise in the area. Since the system would be working only during the day, it shouldn't be a problem.
In order to answer the wildlife concerns, CBW used the experience of the other 200 sites or so using the cable system they wished to implement. Costwolds Water Park is the place closest to Cardiff, and its Trust boasts wintering wildfowl, visits from over 200 species of birds, including declining species, but also otters and dragonflies, which seem to cohabitate peacefully with waterski enthusiasts. Waterskiing and wakeboarding even seems to oxygenate the water, regenerating it.
The electric motor doesn't use fuel so doesn't risk polluting the water. As far as litter is concerned, CBW has taken part in cleaning up the dock in association with the Atlantic Wharf Residents' Association and Keep Wales Tidy, and they intend to keep up the good work.
CBW has vowed to encourage the use of public transport and bicycles and to promote car share. The Wharf Pub car park was also deemed sufficient to welcome all the cars.
The Waterboarding Park has been given the go ahead by the Council, but it still isn't 100% secured. Indeed, the green light was given for a trial period of 5 years, and under certain conditions: the most important at this point is probably that if too few residents and landowners give their consent, the project will be jeopardised. They will also have to secure parking spots and rid the dock of the cables and of the whole system from November to April, when it will not be working. If everything goes as planned by CBW, they will have 5 years to prove their worth and give the Dock a new life.
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