Visitors furious as film crew ‘takes over’ beauty spot car park
Visitors to a Welsh country park are "furious" because a film crew have "taken over" its car park. The production company behind hospital drama series Casualty has reportedly been using the public car park at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park as a base for three days from Wednesday until Friday.
Filming appears to be taking place on Victoria Road in Penarth, where more production vehicles were spotted. Angry visitors claimed that on Wednesday they were told by parking attendants to move their cars - even though they said they had already paid to park there - and that the attendants were blocking off empty spaces with cones.
Pictures from the scene show HGVs and trailers filling up the spaces, with visitors claiming they also spotted catering vans, security, diesel generators, and portable toilets. On Thursday, they said the situation was "even worse" as they claimed the film crew had arrived early to seal off the main entrances to the car park and had encroached the overflow car park, too. You can get more local news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.
(Image: John Myers)
A spokesperson for Vale of Glamorgan Council said the majority of the car park remained open to visitors and the entire car park would be open to the public for the weekend and half term holiday. The council cited the "economic benefits" such filming brought to the area, as well as "much needed income" it generated, which was directly invested back into the park.
Local resident Rob, 60, who did not want his surname used, described the scene as "bedlam" and said it was "not fair". He said he on Wednesday there were "many" angry drivers who argued with the parking attendants as they told people to move their cars. "I think they upset one too many...literally a car pulled out and one of the attendants pulled out cones and blocked it off."(Image: John Myers) (Image: John Myers)
Rob, who is recovering after surgery, said he visited the park every day to walk his friend's dog, and described it as his "escape". "This has shocked me," he said. "Myself and many people can't go on the beaches this time of year, so we come over here because we're allowed to. If you drive with your dog to Cosmeston, you're supposed to be able to park."
His friend Suzanne, who is disabled, said she was looking forward to bringing down her disabled cousin on Thursday for a day out in the park. "My cousin has a very serious disease - he can only shuffle and can only walk a very, very short distance, so the plan was to bring him and some of his disabled friends for a picnic on the benches in the middle of the car park," said the 61-year-old.(Image: John Myers)
But she said she decided to cancel the picnic. "They can't walk this far back, they can't access these picnic tables with all these HGVs around. And all they'll see is the lorries - a corral of lorries." She also claimed there had been "no notification at all" to visitors that the film crew would be using the car park. "If people are planning picnics, you can't plan...I wish there had been a notification so we could adjust plans."
In 2016 Vale of Glamorgan Council invited businesses to tender offers to use the country park as a location for new commercial opportunities to help develop the Vale's tourism prospects. Referring to this decision, Suzanne added: "I don't how how it's going to bring tourism to the park when there are large HGV lorries reversing in and out."(Image: John Myers) (Image: John Myers)
A spokesperson for the Vale of Glamorgan Council said: “The film crew are using part of the main car park at Cosmeston and the overflow parking field. The majority of the car park remains open to visitors. The entire car park will be open to the public for the weekend and half term holiday.
“The council regularly accommodates filming across its facilities and we always seek to ensure minimal disruption to residents and visitors. As well as the economic benefits this brings to local businesses, filming also generates much-needed income which in the case of Cosmeston is all invested directly back into the country park.”
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