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Water-ski park on the way to Cardiff docks.

CARDIFF is to get its own "world class" wakeboard and water-ski park after plans were given the green light by councillors yesterday.

The proposal from Cardiff Bay Wakeboarding to install a 735m cable-tow water-ski system at East Bute Dock, off Atlantic Wharf in Butetown, has caused months of controversy since it was submitted to Cardiff council in April 2012.

Hundreds of residents in the apartment complexes and houses around the water lodged concerns about the park, including the amount of noise it would make, the effect on wildlife, the visual impact of the tow system, and increased traffic, parking and congestion problems.

But following months of negotiation to try to address residents' fears - including changing the location of the system's supporting pylons, and a promise to remove all the apparatus above the water in the off season from November to April - Cardiff Bay Wakeboarding was given the go-ahead.

Addressing the planning committee prior to the vote, the company's operations director Gareth Stevenson said he believed the park would be a great addition to the Welsh capital.

He said: "The system is quiet, non-polluting, and low carbon. Wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports in the world - it's an inclusive sport, and people continue with the sport throughout their lives.

"It has been shortlisted for the 2020 Olympics, and having a world class facility in Cardiff will enable us to train our athletes to the highest level. Cardiff is the 2014 capital of sport, and having an exciting sporting facility in the Bay will increase tourism and promote a healthy lifestyle."

The tow system works by dragging skiers and boarders along an elevated cable, supported by five pylons, around the dock.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 14, 2013
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