BIZWATCH: ANOTHER NEW RESTAURANT FOR PENARTH TOWN CENTRE

Brewstone - which has a cafe / wine bar in Swansea - has signed a 15 year lease on the former Blockbuster premises in Penarth

Brew Stone – which has a cafe / wine bar in Swansea – has signed a 15 year lease on the former Blockbuster premises in Penarth

The old Blockbuster Video store at  38 Windsor Road  on the junction of Windsor Road and Hickman Road Penarth is to become a new restaurant.

The property company BP2 has announced it has completed the letting of 38 Windsor Road to Brew Stone – which already has a cafe/ wine bar in Uplands, Swansea .

The old Blockbuster premises now has a new tenant - opening in the autumn

The old Blockbuster premises now has a new tenant – opening in the autumn

The newest kid on the catering block in Penarth is to be Brew Stone.

The newest kid on the catering block in Penarth is to be Brew Stone.

The corner site was vacated by Blockbuster after the company ran into financial difficulties and was considered by Dominos as a potential base for their take-away pizza business. The company applied for and eventually received A3 planning permission for use as a catering outlet.

In the event however Dominos opted instead for the vacant Tropical Tandoori premises in Windsor Terrace and the former Blockbuster store became available again .

Brewstone has now signed a 15 year lease on the Windsor Road premises and is expected to open for business in the autumn of this year .

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 6 Comments

VALE COUNCIL CABINET CUT TO SIX AS CLLR ROB CURTIS QUITS

The Vale's 'cabinet' confronted Penarth's Council tax payers in the Paget rooms in March

The Vale’s ‘cabinet’ confronted Penarth’s council-tax payers in the Paget rooms in March last year. Cllr Curtis is on the far right.

Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Barry) has quit the Vale Council's ruling cabinet.

Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Barry) has quit the Vale Council’s ruling cabinet.

The seven-member ruling Labour cabal –  or ‘cabinet’ –   which runs the Vale of Glamorgan Council has been reduced to six as of this morning. 

The council announced today that Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown) had resigned from  the cabinet today – but no reasons have been given for his abrupt departure .

On the ‘cabinet’ Cllr Curtis was responsible for Environment and Visible Services and also sat on a number of other bodies

He was born and brought up in Barry and educated at   Barry Boys Comprehensive and Barry College of Further Education and is an electrician by profession . Cllr Curtis is also a keen proponent of global warming theory, Fairtrade, and is a governor of Oakfield School – a school which had to be placed into “special measures” in 2012.

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry ) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council thanked Cllr Curtis for his cabinet services

Council Leader Neil  Moore thanked Curtis  for his cabinet services

Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Council, said: “Cllr Curtis’ departure will be a great loss to the authority. I have thanked him for his considerable input over the past three years and look forward to continuing to work with Rob in his role as a ward member.”

Cllr Curtis is a keen supporter of skateboarding and was instrumental in the installation of skate-parks in the Vale – including the controversial concrete skateboard rink which the Vale Council proposes to build in Penarth ( subject to further promised public consultation)

Cllr Curtis says on the Vale Council web site that he believes ” the Council’s priorities should be the eradication of poverty and the protection of our fragile environment.” As a ‘cabinet’ member Cllr Curtis received a salary of £28,779 p.a. in 2013/14. The Vale Council has yet to publish the salaries of cabinet members for 2014/15.

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PENARTH ESPLANADE’S BLUE BEACHCLIFF BUILDERS’-HOARDINGS FINALLY DISAPPEAR

Beachcliff - as you've never seen it before

Beachcliff – as you’ve never seen it before

The familiar blue builders’ hoardings outside the Beachcliff development on Penarth Esplanade – which have been a permanent feature of the sea-front for the best part of a decade – were finally taken down today .

The blue plywood hoardings had not only  blocked the pavement outside Beachcliff but also closed off a substantial chunk of the main road as well .

The plywood hoardings have obstructed the Esplanade pavement for years

The plywood hoardings have obstructed the Esplanade pavement for years

The section outside the James Sommerin restaurant was taken down last May – but the remainder was left standing – obstructing the footpath and the roadway.

The temperamental portable diesel generator which provided power for Beachcliff going through a series of smoky re-starts.

The temperamental portable diesel generator which provided power for Beachcliff going through a series of smoky re-starts.

The hoardings had enclosed a large portable electricity generator which powered the restaurant and the entire Beachcliff block,  pending connection to the mains. The building is now fully connected to the mains supply.

The less-than-reliable generator sometimes failed – plunging restaurant diners into darkness – and often took several smoky re-starts to get going again.

The pavement still has a temporary galvanised barrier in place whilst workmen clear up the  remaining detritis of six years of building work  – but this afternoon it should be possible for residents and visitors aline to actually walk the whole length of the pavement from Windsor Court to The Fig Tree restaurant without having to step out into the main road

There are a few last-minute tidying up jobs to do

There are a few last-minute tidying up jobs to do

Construction work on Beachcliff is by no means complete – but a stream of complaints by local residents against the continued obstruction of the pavement has built up in the last few weeks.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has demanded unimpeded access to the roadway in order to  remove the old double-yellow lines outside Beachcliff prior to replacing them with   echelon parking spaces. None of the new spaces is being exclusively allocated to Beachcliff residents.

It will be a novel experience for Penarth residents to be able to walk the length of this pavement

It will be a novel experience for Penarth residents to be able to walk the length of this pavement

The parking regulations at this point of the Esplanade will be two-hour limited waiting  between 10:00 and  19:00 with no return within two hours for everyone at this location.

 

 

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“TOURISM AMBASSADORS” FOR PENARTH ARE BEING SOUGHT

The Vale of Glamorgn Council closed Penarth's only Tourism Information Office at Penarth Pier

The Vale of Glamorgan Council closed Penarth’s Tourism Information Office at Penarth Pier

Two years after closing down Penarth’s only Tourist Information Office the Vale of Glamorgan Council is now  aiming  to recruit 50 new so-called “Tourism Ambassadors” by Easter this year.

It’s a bid to  get more local people involved – as unpaid volunteers  in promoting the attractions of Penarth and other locations in the area. The programme said to be  primarily for people who are “not currently involved in the industry, but passionate about their own square mile”.

Penarth Esplanade

There are many other potential tourism destinations in Penarth apart from the Esplanade and the Pier

Free training workshops are to be held  by tourism professionals which are  aimed at people who “ideally have spare time, could be running a tourism related business or having a background in tourism and the visitor economy, would enjoy meeting and greeting incoming visitors and feel that they have something to offer their local community”. Qualified ambassadors will receive a “Certificate of Competency”

The Penarth training day is to be held on March 11th 2015 at Penarth Council’s HQ at West House, Stanwell Road, Penarth. It will include a workshop on history, folklore, heritage and culture. A similar course is also being held in Cowbridge.

There’ll also be special training excursions for the would-be-ambassadors to “places in the Vale that you may never have heard of” on March 17th and March 25th.

All places on the training courses are free – but they’re limited and subject to availability. Anyone interested in becoming an  “Ambassador” can register  by calling 07773 804470 as soon as possible so as to secure a place at their preferred venue.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 6 Comments

PENARTH HEIGHTS DEVELOPER CREST NICHOLSON IS INVESTIGATED FOR “PLANNING BREACH”

The northern phase of Penarth Heights is still under construction

The northern phase of Penarth Heights is still under construction

Crest Nicholson – the developers of Penarth Heights – are being investigated by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning department for an alleged breach of planning permission.

The case involves a planning application which was approved in 2012 which entailed “modifications” to an original planning consent granted back in  2007. The changes granted in 2012 included modifications in “ phasing, topography, finished floor levels”, and the “redistribution of affordable housing”.

The section outlined in orange is still under development

The section outlined in orange is still under development

In 2012 the Vale Council had noted that no details of landscaping had been submitted for the plots in the application  and said landscaping was  required to “safeguard local visual amenities“, and to “ensure compliance” with the Unitary Development Plan.

The planning permission that was granted in 2012 came with 25 specific conditions attached .  They included not only landscaping requirements but set down standards of insulation of houses, provisions for bat welfare and parking facilities for bicycles  amongst a plethora of other requirements.

The front and rear elevation of a Penarth Heights home

The front and rear elevation of a Penarth Heights home

One of the  modifications made to the plans in 2013 was in the conditions for “Affordable Housing”. Twenty percent of the dwellings in the relevant phase have to be “affordable” . The council required that all affordable housing units would “comply with Welsh Housing Quality Standards as a minimum” including the ‘affordable’ flats on the site .

The council also told Crest Nicholson that “No dwelling on the development hereby approved shall be brought into beneficial use until such time as the parking area(s) serving that dwelling, including all associated access and turning areas, have been laid out in full accordance with the details hereby approved”.

The enforcement contravention notice issued by the Vale Council does not specify exactly which of the planning conditions has allegedly been breached but says the matter is “under investigation”.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 11 Comments

EMERGENCY SERVICES CALLED TO WINDSOR ROAD

An ambulance and a police van in Windsor Road today

An ambulance and a police van in Windsor Road today

A police van and an ambulance crew were called to an address on Windsor Road Penarth just after mid-day today to attend to  “a male in need of help”.

An "Enforcer" Ram

An “Enforcer” Ram

Officers were equipped with what’s called an “Enforcer Ram” – a 35 lb tool made of hardened steel which delivers an impact which is the equivalent of of three and a half tons and is capable of opening most doors, even those with multiple locks,  in a single blow.

It’s understood the incident had nothing to do with drugs. A person was subsequently taken away to hospital by ambulance . No further details are available.

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HOLM HOUSE HOTEL, COFFEE #1, & UKIP’S CAFE GET LOW FOOD-HYGIENE RATING

The east-facing frontage of the renovated Holm House Hotel

The east-facing frontage of the renovated Holm House Hotel

The recently re-opened Holm House Hotel in Marine Parade, Penarth has received  a Food Standards Agency Rating  of only 1 ( in a range from 0 to 5) for Food Hygiene.

The "Join the Party" UKIP Cafe in Glebe St also gets a Food Standards Hygiene rating of only 1

The “Join the Party” UKIP Cafe in Glebe St also gets a Food Standards Hygiene rating of only 1

Other establishments to get the same low rating include  Coffee #1 in Windsor Road, “Join the Party” – the UKIP Cafe / HQ  in Glebe St – and Penarth Labour Club.

The FSA ratings are based on inspections by Vale of Glamorgan Food Standards officers  who periodically examine all food-catering establishments. They assess food hygiene on the basis of :-

  • How hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
  • The condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • How staff manage and handle food to make sure food is safe

The highest rating for a fully-compliant establishment is 5 . The lowest is zero.

A Holm House steak - served on a wooden platter.

A Holm House steak – served on a wooden platter.

The “1” rating for Holm House Hotel was  based on an inspection in December 2014 when the newly-renovated hotel was still in the process of  running-up its operations . In a statement to the FSA, Holm House Hotel said it agreed with the inspection findings but said it had since carried out the following improvements:-

  • A new management system has been implemented
  • There is now a new manager and/or new staff.
  • The staff have been trained/re-trained/given instruction/are under revised supervisory arrangements.
  • The conditions found at the time of inspection were not typical of the normal conditions maintained at the establishment. A new wash hand basin has been installed in the coffee/servery area with hot water supply.

The hotel stated “Following our visit by Environmental Health we were extremely disappointed with the scoring on the day. However, we accept the findings and have immediately put in place a plan of action which has already addressed all of the issues which were in relation to some physical requirements and training and procedural issues for staff. With the hotel having just opened and a brand new team being put in place there were areas around our systems and ways of working that required improvement which were completed within days of the visit. The management and staff have undertaken further training on the food management systems following the visit and we are pleased to report that every area of concern has been fully addressed and we have full confidence in our food safe systems. ” 

HIGHEST AND LOWEST IN PENARTH

Listed below are the FSA ratings for  the Penarth establishments which scored the highest and the lowest ratings in the town.  It includes only those in which members of the general public can walk in and buy meals and does  not include those which scored 2, 3, or 4. This list does not include  care-homes, schools, supermarkets, newsagents,  and other institutions – many of which scored highly.

The top hygiene rating is "5"

The top hygiene rating is “5”

The top Food Standards Agency score of  “5”  – the highest standard of hygiene – was awarded to :-  

    • Coffee Compass Ltd Penarth Portway Penarth
    • El Puerto The Custom House Penarth Portway
    • La Marina Restaurant The Custom House Penarth Portway
    • Toby Carvery Barons Court Penarth Road
    • Nicola’s Juice & Coffee Bar Penarth Pier
    • Penarth Fish Bar 14 Cornerswell Road
    • Penarth Athletic Club Lavernock Road Penarth
    • Penarth Bowls Club Rectory Road Penarth
    • The Pier Cafe 5 Pier Buildings Penarth Pier Esplanade
    • Penarth Lawn Tennis Club, Rectory Road
    • Penarth Pier Pavilion, Penarth Pier
    • The Gallery at Penarth Yacht Club, Penarth Esplanade
    • Penarth Leisure Centre Leisure Centre Andrew Road Cogan
    • Bar 44 Tapas y Copas  Windsor Road Penarth
    • Brecon Lodge B & B 6 Kymin Terrace Penarth
    • Cefn Mably Inn 1 Lavernock Road Penarth
    • Celtic Lounge, 7 Windsor Arcade Penarth
    • Cosmeston Cafe Cosmeston Country Park Lavernock Road Penarth
    • Dotty Pots 6 Herbert Terrace Penarth
    • David Lush, Glebe St Penarth
    • Glamorganshire Golf Club  Glamorganshire Golf Club Lavernock Road Penarth
    • Greggs The Bakers 32 Windsor Road
    • Harvester Schooner Inn Lavernock Road Penarth
    • Magic Wok 31 Glebe Street Penarth
    • Meat & Greek 147 Redlands Road Penarth
    • Restaurant James Sommerin Esplanade Penarth
    • Romeos By The Sea Esplanade Penarth
    • The Albion 28 Glebe Street Penarth
    • The Bears Head 37-39 Windsor Road Penarth
    • The Busy Teapot Cafe 27 Glebe Street Penarth
    • The New Pilot 67 Queens Road Penarth
    • The Windsor Restaurant & Tea Room 1 Windsor Arcade Penarth
    • Victoria Tea Room & Ice Cream Parlour 3a Cornerswell Road Penarth
Food Hygiene Ratings must be displayed where customers can see them

Food Hygiene Ratings must be displayed where customers can see them

WORST RATINGS (1) : All the following have an inspection ranking of only 1

  • Penarth Labour Club 98-100 Glebe Street Penarth
  • Cottage Bakery, Cogan
  • Bring a Buffet, Glamorganshire Golf Club Lavernock Road Penarth
  • Coffee #1,  13 Windsor Road Penarth (see statement below)
  • Holm House Marine Parade Penarth (see statement above)
  • Join the Party, 15 Glebe Street Penarth (The UKIP Cafe)
  • Paramount Tandoori Restaurant 5 Station Approach Penarth
  • The Clive Arms  31 John Street Penarth
  • The Windsor Arms 95 Windsor Road Penarth

 Coffee#1 in Windsor Road was the only 1 -rated establishment to issue a comment to the Food Standards Agency apart from Holm House Hotel . Coffee#1 said  it agreed with the inspection findings but had since carried out  improvements. It said “The maintenance and equipments issues have been addressed and we are looking forward to our re-score. The conditions found at the time of inspection were not typical of the normal conditions maintained at the establishment. All of the issues have been fully addressed”.

Penarth Labour Club in Glebe St - which scored a rating of only 1 - is immediately opposite the UKIP Cafe - which achieved the same low rating.

Penarth Labour Club in Glebe St – which scored a rating of only 1 – is immediately opposite the UKIP Cafe – which achieved the same low rating.

Neither the Penarth Labour Club 98-100 Glebe Street Penarth or Join the Party (the UKIP Cafe in Glebe St) (which is across the street) have had any statements published by the FSA.

Foxy’s Deli – which appears on the FSA website with a 1 rating has since been upgraded to a 4 but the website has yet to be amended accordingly.

All the ratings were those which applied  on February 25th 2014 and are the FSA’s most recently published data based on the most recent inspections – some of which  may have taken place months ago.

To check on the current ratings of any individual food outlet go to the Food Standards Agency website on  http://ratings.food.gov.uk/ and enter the details.

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