The Waterfront, Barry
Development planning advice to Associated British Ports at Barry Docks

Article by

Michael Lawley
Development Land; Property Valuation

(029) 20 346346

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  • Barry Docks, at the height of activity before the First World War, had been the leading coal exporting port in the world. With the decline of the coal trade and other activities, by the latter part of the 20th century most of the port was focussed on No 2 Dock. No 1 Dock was largely unused except as tank farms.
  • The existence of this large area of land just to the south of Barry town centre and the immediate north of Barry Island, was a problem and yet an opportunity. The land was owned by Associated British Ports and was largely derelict with contamination problems, as it had been used in part for breaking up the old British Rail steam engines at Woodhams Yard.
  • ABP was keen to see redevelopment of a similar nature to that which it was achieving in Cardiff Bay, but substantial funding was required and Barry was a more marginal development proposition.


  • The solution was to bring together the WDA's Land Reclamation Department with their reclamation funding and ABP into a Joint Venture arrangement. This was brokered by Michael Lawley and succesfully driven by a joint steering board from both partners.
  • Cooke & Arkwright's involvement was from the birth of the JV to its eventual demise some 20 years later, following the last major disposal and wind up of the JV, with Michael Lawley once again advising. The firm was a retained agent throughout the development process and also participated in the development planning and advisory work, and valuations.


  • When completed, the scheme will have produced around 3,000 houses and apartments, two major superstores, extensive retail and leisure development as well as much needed southern access roads from Cardiff and the M4 to the east, to the town centre and now on to Barry Island.

Cooke & Arkwright has advised Network Rail on a wide variety of development sites in South Wales from Mon Bank in Newport to Radyr Sidings in Cardiff. They bring a high level of commitment, technical expertise and knowledge to the successful disposal of complicated development sites."

Stuart Kirkwood, Development Director, Network Rail