780 EMPTY HOMES IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN FACE FULL COUNCIL-TAX

A Vale Council Enforcement Notice was nailed to the front door of this long-term vacant property in Penarth in 2015

Owners of all  780 empty and unoccupied homes in the Vale of Glamorgan are to have full Council Tax charged to them – and the 50% council tax discount on homes empty for more than 6 months is to the scrapped.

The move is due to be endorsed tomorrow by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling cabinet.

There are currently 1,395 homes in the Vale standing empty – which are split into 3 “classes” – A,B,an C

  • Class A dwellings comprise those which  have to remain unoccupied for  a period of at least 28 consecutive days in any 12 month period (holiday chalets beign an example) .
  • Class B dwellings are unoccupied , unfurnished homes which have no legal restriction on their period of use
  • Class C are homes which have been unoccupied for more than 6 months .

All empty properties which are unoccupied and unfurnished are initially exempt from Council Tax for up to six months.

In January this year in the Vale of Glamorgan there were

  • 58 properties in Class A
  • 557 properties  within Class B
  • 780 properties within Class C

Charging full Council tax on the Class C Homes will  – the council hopes – “discourage owners from allowing their properties to remain empty for long periods and falling into disrepair – which in turn would support the Council’s objectives of bringing empty homes back into use.”

Estates agents say it will also have the effect of discouraging property owners placing unrealistically high selling prices on houses and playing a long-term waiting game.

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STANWELL ROAD APARTMENT-DEVELOPMENT TO BE INVESTIGATED…AGAIN

The “Oculus” development at No 2 Stanwell Road – is now alleged to have been completed not in accordance with the approved plans

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has launched a planning enforcement investigation on the new “Oculus” apartment development at No 2 Stanwell Road.

The development – in the former Heath Board offices at the junction of Stanwell Road and Rectory Road – has apparently run into trouble because , allegedly, the qpproved plans for the building authorised by the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning department  have not been followed.

In April 2016 there was an earlier enforcement investigation at  2 Stanwell Road when the Vale Council looked into into alleged “unauthorised demolition” on the site

The Vale Council planning department is investigating whether  the development is “not built in accordance with the approved plans: bi-fold doors inserted and balconies being used”.

If an enforcement order is served there is likely to be some upheaval for the occupants as all of the 7 apartments in the development have now been sold.

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DESPITE A HALT ON DEMOLITION – ST PAUL’S CHURCH LOSES PART OF ITS ROOF

February 12 2019: All work had been halted on the demolition of St Paul’s. The roof was still intact.

Despite the Vale Council’s enforced standstill on further demolition work at the former St Paul’s Church in Arcot St. Penarth,  it appears that a section of roof and part of a side wall of the church have either been taken down or have somehow collapsed of their own accord.  

On Tuesday this week the Vale of Glamorgan Council called an immediate halt to any further demolition work on the church because of concerns that the necessary paperwork for the project and preliminary environmental checks may not have been completed .

Tuesday February 12th 11:17 – the roof of St Paul’s is still intact. The halt on demolition work has been enforced.

…But by February 14th 2019 at 14:20 a chunk of masonry from the North Wall has disappeared- and so has a section of roof – despite the “halt” on further demolition work

February 14th 2019 : Birds nesting the roof space are being forced to move out

February 14th 2019: The roof – which was intact two days previously is now missing rafters and slates

The Newydd housing association is to erect a block of 14 modern “affordable” social-housing apartments on the site.

Envronmental campaigners claimed that the necessary surveys to establish whether bats (a protected species)  and other birds were roosting in the derelict church had not been properly carried out . Such measures were a copndition of granting planning permission for the partial demolition of the stricture .

Massive water tanks are being used to counterbalance and steady the  unsupported front wall

Only the front wall of the old church is be retained – and this has now been swathed in supporting scaffolding which is weighted down with dozens of large plastic water tanks to avert any possible collapse when the rest of the building is demolished .

There have also been complaints from neighbours being disturbed by inconsiderate  demolition workers playing “music” at full blast on portable radios and also infringing the conditions of work by carrying out operations on a Sunday.

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BIZWATCH: CRAFTY DEVIL CELLAR TO-SET UP IN PENARTH TOWN CENTRE

“Here’s looking at you!”: A foretaste of the Crafty Devil Beer Cellar coming to Windsor Road in the premises formerly occupied by Ocho Lounge (now in larger premises across the road)

The highly-successful Cardiff-based micro-brewing company “Crafty Devil” is to open a Crafty Devil Beer Cellar Penarth

The new beer cellar will open  in  Windsor Road at vacant premises between the Marie Curie charity shop and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill store.

Adam Edinborough and Rhys Watkins outside their Cardiff brewery

Crafty Devil is run by local entrepreneurs  Adam Edinborough and Rhys Watkins – who both went to school in Penarth and who began their booming business by starting to brew beer in a garden shed in 2014.

They already have two very popular beer cellars in Cardiff and and now bringing the concept of a “community focussed beer cellar”  to Penarth along with “great local beer, lovingly selected local food and welcoming/typically mad staff”. The new beer cellar is due to open in Penarth on April 1st this year .

The Penarth bar will be a developed version of the existing outlets in Cardiff

Mr Watkins and Mr Edinborough – both master brewers – are proposing to use “crowd-funding” to help launch the latest enterprise  and tell customers/investors  that ” Every penny that you invest you will get back as a bar tab from opening night to use in Cellar Penarth AND Crafty Devil’s Cellar [in Cardiff] . Plus you will get 10% discount for life to use in both of those venues.”

The crowd-funder information is on https://igg.me/at/ craftydevilcellarpenarth

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PENARTH’S 15 MOST DESIRABLE – AND PRICEY – STREETS ARE LISTED

Augusta Crescent in Penarth is off the equally-desirable Augusta Road and has a mix of new traditional-style two-storey homes, substantial pre-war semi-detached houses and bungalows

A list of Penarth’s 15 most desirable streets – ranked in terms of average house price –  has been compiled by the local estate agents ACL.

The top street for price appreciation is Augusta Crescent where the average price paid for a house in 2018 was £695,000. 

PDN commentators say the figures for Augusta Crescent (compiled by estate agents ACL) have been skewed by this modest bungalow No 33 Augusta Crescent which was the only property sold in the Crescent in 2018 – and was bought for £695,000 – making it the “average price” for the street

The complete list is as follows:-

  1.  Augusta Crescent – average price paid £695,000 
  2. Craven Walk – average price paid £690,000
  3. Marine Parade – average price paid £675,000
  4. Trem Y Bae – average price paid £675,000
  5. Cwrt-y-Vil Rd – average price paid £667,813
  6. Maillards Haven – average price paid £667,500
  7. Victoria Rd – average price paid £662,500
  8. Sully Rd – average price paid £621,000
  9. Raisdale Gardens – average price paid £585,000
  10. Thorn Grove – average price paid £582,500
  11. Lavernock Rd – average price paid £580,166
  12. Church Avenue – average price paid £570,000
  13. Tudor Close – average price paid £575,000
  14. Whitcliffe Drive – average price paid £557,500
  15. Alberta Place – average price paid £557,000

There are of course several individual homes in Penarth – notably in Marine Parade and Park Road and Lower Penarth which command far-higher prices than the street-average price of Augusta Crescent – but this particular survey is based on the average price for the entire street and not on the priciest single property on it.

House prices in the Vale of Glamorgan increased by over 6% during 2018 according to data released by estate agents ACL compiled from figures compiled by he Nationwide Building Society and Principality Building Society. ACL says that the data shows the residential property market in Wales is resilient and in particular, the “ever-popular Vale of Glamorgan remains a sound area to invest in property”.

Tom Denman, Chief Financial Operating Officer at Principality Building Society says  “Affordability of homes in the country compared to areas of south-west England is likely to have helped growth, along with supply and demand.”

Data from the Nationwide Building Society and Principality Building Society showed that whilst the average house price across the UK only rose by 0.5% during 2018,
in Wales, the average house price rose by 3%. last year.

This is thought to be a photo of the “Augusta” of Augusta Crescent – Lady Augusta Paget

BACKGROUND: Augusta Crescent and Augusta Road appear to have been named – almost inevitably – after a member of the extended family of the Earl of Plymouth and his assorted forebears.

Augusta Paget (born 1839) was the daughter of Lady Georgina Paget.

Augusta’s mother – Lady Paget   was the daughter of Field Marshal Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey – which gives her the distinction of being a North Walian.

Augusta married into the Crofton family and died in 1928.

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RUSSIAN-ROULETTE AT BARON’S COURT AS ALL TRAFFIC-SIGNALS FAIL

Every single traffic light was out of action on the Baron’s Court Junction today

Hundreds of drivers have had to take a gamble to get across the Baron’s Court junction  – on the main route into Penarth  – today after a major failure of the complicated traffic light system where four major routes connect.

The Baron’s Court Junction not only has several traffic lights but the layout is complicated by filter lanes on all four corners of the junction which have  pedestrian operated pelican crossings on them with their own separate lights.

Squinting at the sun – and the out-of-action lights – drivers had to be alert to the risks of getting rammed on both sides by crossing traffic as they made therir way across the junction

Not one of the dozens of traffic lights was working this morning at the Baron’s Court junction

The lights are all operated by computers in large grey metal boxes at the roadside

Every single light was out of action today . They are all operated automatically from large metal cabinets at the roadside –

Drivers  trying to reach Penarth along Penarth Road had to warily look out for an unregulated  torrent of vehicles coming towards them from the Merrie Harrie and from Cardiff Bay in the opposite direction.

Ambulances and other emergency vehicles had sirens to help them carve their way through the chaos  but for other drivers it was a case of taking a risk and hoping for the best

It’s not yet known how long the lights will be out of action but there did not appear to be any engineers attempting to repairing them this morning. They are the responsibility of the Vale of Glamorgan Council Highways Department

Penarth Road is the main route into the town from Cardiff and the Baron’s Court junction is ised by thousands of vehicles every day

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BIZWATCH : FOURWAYS TAKES BACK CONTROL FROM SPAR

The familiar Penarth name “Fourways” is back on the Glebe St shop

The former Spar convenience store in Glebe St has now been re-branded as “Fourways News” and the Spar franchise has been terminated.

The shop was originally called “Fourways” when it was just a newsagents and stationery store – but the business was subserquently taken over by the Spar chain which re-fitted the shop as a convenience store.

The shop had been re-fitted as a Spar store only 2 years ago. Now Fourways is back on Glebe St

Now the arrangements with Spar have been broken off, Spar have been bought-out and the former proprietor Mr John Gough and his wife are understood to be back in control .

Spar-labelled products are no longer available in the shop but otherwise the store is carrying a similar range of merchandise and newspapers to that of  its previous incarnation  .

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