Families of children being cared for at Tŷ Hafan’s Hospice are concerned the ‘tranquility’ of patients could be destroyed if a holiday park is developed close by.
Laura Mellens’ daughter Blisse who is 13 was referred to the hospice as a baby when she was diagnosed with two rare brain disorders PMG and PVNH.
It is like their second home providing respite and crisis stays as well as support for the whole family.
She was ‘shocked, angry and worried’ when she was told about proposals by Barry Island Leisure Park owner Henry Danter to develop land next door.
Mr Danter says it ‘could cater for the thousands of visitors who visit the area each year’ and ‘benefit the whole town’.
Laura feels it’s the wrong location and will take away their ‘safe haven’ which provides peace and quiet for families going through a tough time.
The hospice provides unique care and support for children with life-shortening conditions and their families round the clock.
She said: “You go outside you hear the birds, you hear the sea it’s so calm you know there’s been times obviously we go out in the lovely gardens that we’ve got and it can be for playing, laughing, creating memories.
“There has also been times when Blisse has been struggling and I’ve gone out just to be me, to have my own thoughts, to have a cry and deal with the situation that we are dealing with as a family which is devastating.
“Some families come here for short times, you know end of life care and there’s other families like mine who have been here for 13 years and it just cannot happen.
“I do think it would change my views if Blisse did come here for end-of-life care. I don’t know whether I would want that there. I think it is something that would change maybe by opinion of bringing her to Tŷ Hafan.”
Mr Danter says the holiday site ‘would not be imposing’.
But Laura believes ‘it definitely would be’ she said: “We have all been to holiday parks there’s noise, noise travels, you know the people, the traffic.
“Tŷ Hafan cannot be disrupted from what it is. I think of our families that are coming here and future families, will that change their opinion of what care they want to receive?”
A boundary wall is all that separates the memory garden at Tŷ Hafan and Henry Danter’s land. He feels his proposals will be beneficial to the region boosting the local economy and helping rejuvenate the South Wales coastline.
Mr Danter bought the land last year after ‘falling in love with the site’ because the view is magnificent.
He has been planning on building a holiday park in the area after buying Barry island more than a decade ago. The future vision is to see ‘mobile homes, log cabins or containers, whatever the council may feel will fit’.
The plans at present are very small with Mr Danter saying he wants to transform what he describes as an "eye sore" and "see where they go with it and how successful it is".
He understands the hospices concerns from his own personal experience.
Mr Danter said: “I have lost a child myself. I know how they feel, I know that agony and pain will last them for a long time, probably a lifetime. That is very, very sad and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt these special needs children.
“The hospice there I am all for them. That is all I want to do is help them, provide for them. The children that are there through the summer they do use my amusement park and we have them for two days of the year and everything is free for them. They have a wonderful time.”
The families of children at Tŷ Hafan are concerned that a holiday park will create noise which Mr Danter denies. He said: “I wouldn’t do anything to upset them or make a noise here, it’s not that sort of site.” He does not know where the plans will go he would like to see something that will cater for the people who visit Barry Island and keep them in the area so they spend in the town, the local pubs, shops and activities.
Tŷ Hafan has formally objected to the application over concerns around the ‘security, safety, privacy and tranquility’ of its patients.
Mr Danter has not submitted plans for a holiday park however he has put in a plan for a small amount of land to be used for storage facilities. He told us that his aims for the land in the future will be to create a destination for holidaymakers.
A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The Council has not received a planning application to construct a holiday park on the land near Hayes Road in Barry.
“There are three other applications relating to the area, one to site self-storage containers, another to store caravans and motorhomes in a nearby location, and a third to erect new fencing on the boundary with Hayes Road.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...