The aim of this consultation is to seek views about our proposal to identify Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major) and Penarth Beach as bathing waters under the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 for the 2022 bathing season.
The Welsh Government is required to identify popular bathing waters in Wales, monitor their water quality and keep bathers well informed about water quality at these identified sites. In Wales the bathing season runs from 15 May to 30 September.
One of the requirements under the Regulations is for the Welsh Government to annually review and publish the list of identified bathing waters in Wales.
Purpose of the Consultation
The aim of this consultation is to seek views about our proposal to identify Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major) and Penarth Beach as designated bathing waters under the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 for the 2022 bathing season.
The Bathing Water Regulations 2013 requires the Welsh Government to annually identify all popular bathing areas in Wales. The objective of the Regulations is to protect bathers’ health against faecal pollution by monitoring intestinal enterococci and E.coli and provide information to the public to enable them to make informed decisions about where and when they bathe.
Bather numbers is the criteria which the Welsh Government will apply when considering whether it is appropriate to designate a site and in particular, to any infrastructure or facilities provided, or other measures taken to promote bathing at the site.
The Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC which put in place a mechanism to identify bathing waters in the UK forms part of retained EU law in Wales. The Bathing Water Regulations 2013 specify the statutory requirements associated with the management of bathing waters in Wales.
The Regulations require the Welsh Government to annually identify popular bathing areas in Wales. The objective of the Regulations is to protect bathers’ health and inform bathers of potential health hazards associated with poor water quality.
There are currently 105 identified bathing waters in Wales. The water quality at these bathing waters is tested by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) during the bathing season, which runs from 15 May to 30 September. Designated bathing waters are classified as excellent, good, sufficient or poor depending on water quality sampling results. The bathing water quality classifications are based on two microbiological parameters: intestinal enterococci and E.coli.
In 2021, all 105 identified bathing waters in Wales met the required standard for bathing water quality. The results of individual designated bathing waters in Wales are published on the Welsh Government’s website at: Bathing Water Results - Wales 2021
Bathing waters are valuable for the recreational opportunities they provide to the people of Wales, the local economy and tourism. The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government has also made a commitment to begin to designate Wales’ inland waters for recreation.
Request to identify Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major) as a Bathing Water
We have received a request from the Vale of Glamorgan Council for Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major) (GR:SS956674) to be considered for designation as a bathing water for the 2022 bathing season.
Evidence and information provided by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in support of the application for Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major)
The application provided surveys for Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major) which identified over 5,000 swimmers and paddlers using the beach during the summer period from 1 June to 5 September 2021. Over the same period over 2,500 other beach users were identified in the survey.
The surveys were compiled by a number of groups and organisations who use and operate at the site, including a swimming group.
Information was provided on local consultation and support for the proposed designation. The Council notified NRW of their intention to apply for designation of the beach, prior to submitting the application. Photographs showing members of the public in the water and on the beach were provided. Photographs were also provided which included evidence of public signage and information, public toilets, cycle storage facilities, parking, refuse and recycling provision, picnic area and beachside café and a newly installed slipway for easier access to the beach. The Council also advise that there is RNLI lifeguards present from July to September.
Request to identify Penarth Beach as a bathing water
We have received a request from a member of the public for Penarth Beach (ST 18947119) to be considered for designation as a bathing water for the 2022 bathing season.
Evidence and information provided by a member of the public in support of the application for Penarth Beach
The application provided evidence of beach usage via the social media platform, where individuals and group beach users, including swimming groups supported the designation. This set out various numbers of swimmers and periods of beach usage. The application stated that there has been an increase in bathers at the site in the past two years and that as many as 100+ swimmers are in the water all year round and particularly in the summer. The application provided photographs of groups of adults entering and in the water. One of which showed as many as 40 people in the water at one time.
The application did not provide evidence of facilities or environmental/public information at the site.
Next steps following the consultation
All the responses to this consultation will be analysed and considered and the Welsh Government will publish a summary of responses.
Do you agree or disagree with our proposal to designate Col-Huw Beach (Llantwit Major) as a bathing water for the 2022 bathing season?
What is your view on the proposal and your reason/evidence to support your view?
Do you agree or disagree with our proposal to designate Penarth Beach as a bathing water for the 2022 bathing season?
What is your view on the proposal and your reason/evidence to support your view?
We would like to know your views on the effects the proposals would have on the Welsh language, specifically on opportunities for people to use Welsh and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than English.
What effects do you think there would be? How could positive effects be increased, or negative effects be mitigated?
Please also explain how you believe the proposed actions could be formulated or changed so as to have positive effects or increased positive effects on opportunities for people to use the Welsh language and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language, and
no adverse effects on opportunities for people to use the Welsh language and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language.
We have asked a number of specific questions. If you have any related issues which we have not specifically addressed, please use this space to report them:
How to respond
Please submit your comments by 15 February 2022.
Please respond to this consultation by answering the questions set out in the response form. Responses can be submitted by:
Water Branch (Bathing Water Consultation)
If you have any queries on this consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 03000255509.
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UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)
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In order to show that the consultation was carried out properly, the Welsh Government intends to publish a summary of the responses to this document. We may also publish responses in full. Normally, the name and address (or part of the address) of the person or organisation who sent the response are published with the response. If you do not want your name or address published, please tell us this in writing when you send your response. We will then redact them before publishing.
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Further information and related documents
Large print, Braille and alternative language versions of this document are available on request.
Mae’r ddogfen yma hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg / This document is also available in Welsh.