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Monday, 3 June, 2002, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Royal row over coastal park
Queen at Welsh Assembly, with former First Secretary Alun Michael
The Queen's Jubilee tour comes to Wales this month
Plans to rename one of Wales' top tourist attractions and cultural venues after the Queen have met a hostile response from Plaid Cymru.

Carmarthenshire's 27.5m Millennium Coastal Park is set to be re-branded the Royal Coastal Park when Her Majesty officially opens the site later this month during her Jubilee tour of the nation.

Completed two years ago, the development landscaped and transformed 22km of Llanelli's derelict industrial coastline to create a wildlife and tourist haven as a gift for the new millennium.

Helen Mary Jones, Llanelli AM
Helen Mary Jones and some constituents think the new name is unsuitable
But a plan to re-name the site to coincide with the Queen's Golden Jubilee tour was branded "unsuitable" by local Welsh Assembly member Helen Mary Jones, who got letters from irate constituents.

The Royal tour began in Cornwall on 30 April and has already taken in England's North-East, Scotland and London.

She is to visit Wales from June 11 to 13.

But Ms Jones told BBC News Online: "Giving it a royal name will in no way reflect the heritage of the area or the background of the land it has been built upon.

"It will merely mislead visitors who come to Llanelli expecting to see a royal connection with the area, or a royal monument of some kind.

"It is no-one's intention to disrespect the Queen or the Royal family.

"There is simply a strong feeling and a risk of the visit being marred by these issues."

Prime development

But the proposal is likely to be given the go-ahead by the Welsh Secretary in a letter to Buckingham Palace.

Suggested by Dyfed's Lord Lieutenant David Mansel Lewis, the idea has already won the blessing of site operators Carmarthenshire County Council, a council spokesman said.

The Queen will have the final say on use of her name and will implement Paul Murphy's recommendation.

A spokesperson for Mr Murphy said he would "rubber-stamp" the proposal shortly.

At the site, the town's scarred industrial belt was replaced with a tourist attraction carved out of the coastal strip, financed with 13.75m from Millennium Commission.

Cash from the Welsh Development Agency and European Objective Two funds also featured.

Popular development

The park lay peppered with defunct tin and steel factories after the town's export boom ended in the 70s.

The new millennium's first National Eisteddfod attracted over 135,000 visitors to the site when it was opened by the council in 2000.

The Queen will start the Welsh leg of her Jubilee tour on 11 June at Anglesey, before travelling to Llanelli and ending with a visit to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.

Road revelopment is already underway in the town for the arrival and council analysts predict a series of events, including a week-long enterprise showcase, could generate 1m for businesses.

Ms Jones, however, has predicted further local disquiet if the plan is approved.

She has written to the council in a bid to have them overturn the proposal before Paul Murphy gives the Queen the green light.

Tour dates:

1 1-2 May: Cornwall, Devon and Somerset
2 7-8 May: Tyne and Wear and Durham
3 10 May: Buckinghamshire and Berkshire
4 23-29 May: Scotland
5 1-4 June: London and Windsor
6 7 June: West Sussex
7 11-13 June: Wales
8 27 June: Portsmouth
9 2-3 July: West Midlands
10 11-12 July: West Yorkshire and the Humber
11 17-18 July: Suffolk and Norfolk
12 24-26 July: Manchester and Merseyside
13 31 July- 1 August: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire
14 5 August: Lancashire

  • Dates for Northern Ireland will be announced later

  • Key stories




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