“ALIEN” VERANDAH PROPOSED FOR CONSERVATION AREA COTTAGE

The original architectural design for Holly Cottage at Tower Hill Penarth – in the Penarth Conservation Area . Now the owner wants to add a “contemporary glass roofed verandah” to the site of the building

A planning application to install a small glass roofed “verandah” on the picturesque  Holly Cottage, at Tower Hill, Penarth has been recommended for refusal by Penarth Town Council’s planning committee.

Holly Cottage is on the Northern side of Tower Hill Lane and a few yards East of Tower Hill cottages – in the heart of the Penarth Conservation Area.

The front and the side of the picturesque Holly Cottage . [The outline of the proposed verandah had been inserted in pencil on the original drawings for the building]

It is proposed that the verandah would be made of aluminium with a glass roof and occupy an area of 9 square meters at the front right-hand side of the building and would protrude out further than the existing front porch.

A submitted illustration of the type of verandah envisaged for Holly Cottage

The council’s planning consultant [ Emma Langmaid of Prospero Consulting]   stated that although the proposed materials (glass and black painted aluminium)  would be acceptable for the area, the proposed verandah itself would be an “alien feature” .

Ms Langmaid’s report  said such proposals should accept the historic and cultural character of the dwelling.   The proposed verandah, she said, “would not respect or enhance the character of the dwelling “ and recommended rejection of the proposal.

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

Chairing the meeting was  Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) who is deputy chairman of planning.

Cllr Cuddy  lives in Paget Place which is also within the Penarth Conservation area and who –  in the teeth of local opposition – has himself has gained planning permission to build a “contemporary” modernistic  box-like second home at the side of his own Victorian house in Paget Place.

An artistic impression depicting what Cllr Cuddy’s new modern box-like house will look like in the middle of Paget Place in Penarth’s Conservation Area.

Commenting on Ms Langmaid’s observations on the Tower Hill verandah planning application, Cllr Cuddy commented “ I think it’s a reasonable observation on behalf of our planning consultant . Tower Hill is in the centre of the Conservation Area” – he said.  [Cllr Cuddy’s home is also within the Penarth Conservation Area  – at Paget Place Penarth – as is the site of the new modernistic house he has won permission to erect in his grounds]

Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines)

As deputy chairman of Penarth Town Council , Cllr Cuddy was standing in for Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines) who is the designated chairman of the planning committee but who was not in attendance at this week’s meeting.

[Cllr Humphrey’s home in Clive Place is currently the subject of a second Enforcement Investigation by the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning department relating to the location of a steel shipping container in his garden.]

The final decision on the proposal for the little verandah at Holly Cottage, Tower Hill will be made by a Vale of Glamorgan Council planning officer.

 

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BOOT’S THE CHEMIST IS CLOSED AFTER OVERNIGHT BREAK-IN

Police talk to customers outside “Boots the Chemists” in Penarth where there has been an overnight burglary. A plate-glass window next to the entrance has been smashed in.

Boots the chemists in Windsor Road Penarth has become the latest victim of the escalating rampage of crime in Penarth.

This morning, staff arriving to open the premises discovered that the store had been broken into . A large plate-glass window – adjacent to the main entrance had been smashed in .

Custmers were not allowed to enter the Boots Chemists store in Windsor Road Penarth this morning following an overnight break in

Police were called to the scene before 08:00 this morning and were  at the shop conducting investigations all morning.

Boots does have a pair of roller shutter doors which can be lowered to close off the two entrances to the store – but the side window which was smashed in is not protected by the roller-shutter system.

It’s only a few days ago since criminals using a similar modus operandi attempted to smash their way through a plate-glass window into Barclays Bank – just a 100 yards  away. They did not gain access to the premises.

Police and Boots staff were supplied with coffee as they stood guard outside the premises this morning

This morning Boots’ customers were being prevented from entering the store as forensic officers examined the scene.

South Wales Police said “We are investigating a break-in at Boots on Windsor Road, Penarth, which took place in the early hours of this morning.A window was smashed to gain entry to the shop. Enquiries are ongoing to determine what was taken.”

Police say the breakage of a front window at Barclays Bank is not being categorised as as “burglary” . They say  the Boots burglary is “the  only commercial burglary we are currently investigating in Windsor Road.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting 1800226973 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police have already put local residents in Penarth on alert following a spate of burglaries in the town.

Ten minutes of this week’s Penarth Town Council meeting had been set aside for a briefing on local crime  from Penarth’s senior police inspector – but no one turned up

A senior police officer is supposed to present a summary of the latest crime figures in the town to Penarth Town Council at the start of each 6-weekly council meeting .

However when this month’s council meeting was held no police officer turned up and no  updated crime figures were provided to councillors . The elected Labour South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael, is a Penarth resident.

 

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COUNCIL IS SPLIT ON HOLDING A SECOND ‘PICNIC PENARTH’ THIS YEAR

Picnic Penarth 2018 was attended by 14,000 people – but no one knows how many of them were actually local residents  who have to pay the Penarth Precept tax which funds such shindigs. Now the questions being asked is “Who is Picnic Penarth actually for? ”  (Photo : MG)

In the wake of good reviews for this year’s two-day “Picnic Penarth” on the Esplanade, Penarth Town Council is now wrestling with a yet-to-be-agreed proposal to hold a second “Picnic Penarth” – possibly in Station Approach.

This year’s main Picnic Penarth event on the 9th and 10th of June was organised for the town council  by local  professional event company Genero Productions. It attracted what is said to have been the largest crowd ever to attend a council event – some 14,000 people.

The 2017 Picnic Penarth, held in Station Approach, was organised  not by Genero Productions but by Penarth  Town Council . It was marred by a 300% overspend . The council had to use council-tax-payers’ money – from the Penarth Precept (the charge on Penarth residents) to bale itself out.

Following on from this year’ssuccess of Picnic Penarth on the Esplanade – which coincided with the Volvo Ocean Race –   Genero have now offered to run a second Picnic event (apparently at “no cost” to the council ) on August Bank Holiday weekend.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)

In this week’s meeting of the Events Committee Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) and his wife Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) –  who is Leader of the Council –   noted the success of the 2018 Picnic on the Esplanade and thanked the council officers who had worked on the event with Genero Events to make it a success..

The only quibble they had was with the weather and that it had been  “so hot” at one point that they had both had to seek shade and ice cream.  Cllr Birch said she had been particularly impressed on emerging from the cinema that evening that to see not a speck of rubbish anywhere on the Esplanade. It had all been bagged up for early morning collection.

Vale Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward) also praised the organisation of the event – by Genero Productions and council officers,  and endorsed Cllr Birch’s comments about rubbish clearance.

On a putative   second “Picnic” event [ now being offered by Genero Productions with “no cost”  to the council]  Cllr Gray said  it clearly would be possible to have it without any public money being involved and he would support idea of  holding of a second Picnic on August Bank Holiday .

The enduring image of the financially diasastrous 2017 “Picnic Penarth”. A little family with nowhere to sit, has to squat on the pavement to eat their food

Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines)

However chairing the committee was Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines) – and she was NOT so persuaded of the idea of holding a second “no-cost” Picnic Penarth.

Ms Murphy –  a councillor of the 2017 intake – tends to challenge the prevailing views of other  members.

She said  “I think there IS cost to the council – and it’s to do with resourcing”   . She said the council staff were working at “absolute capacity” – and expressed reservations about putting another Picnic event on in August that had not had “adequate planning and marketing lead up”.

Cllr Murphy said I would like to propose that we do not do the second Picnic” . She said this did not mean that a second Picnic could not be organised in future years, but the council needed to think strategically about “what the offer is” and “whose needs were being met ” at such an event.

Cllr Gray said he had moved the resolution [in favour of holding a second Picnic Penarth] because that was the “officer recommendation” in the report. Cllr Mark Wilson said that all the costs needed to be examined.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  asked what the cost to the Town Council would be if it was resolved to keep going and organise a second “Picnic”. He urged that any decision should be deferred until the meeting of a working party next week. He asserted that  “Picnic has enhanced the reputation of the Town Council”.

Cllr Murphy stuck to her guns. She had taken advice from council staff and found it was not clear who it was that Picnic was supposed to be catering for . The first Picnic had received a far longer planning time that a second one would have.  People were starting to get confused as to the “offer”, who Picnic was actually for,  and how it was connected with the Summer Festival.

The decision on a second “Picnic”   was suspended pending a discussion of the working party which will be held on Monday next week. Working party discussions are not open to the press or public.

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DOG-DIRT ROW: “MISS-INTERPRETED” [sic] VALE COUNCIL CANCELS PUBLIC CONSULTATION

On Cliff Walk dogs would have had to have been on leads according the the Vale council

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has issued a new notice on its proposals for dealing with dog-dirt in public spaces and has cancelled a public consultation it was to carry out on the issue later this month.

The council had said it was going to consult the public  on a proposal to impose a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which would mean £100 on-the-spot fines being imposed on dog walkers who don’t obey  the proposed new regulations.

However – today all that has changed .

The Vale Council now says “ We initially wrote to stakeholders on the draft proposals and Notice to capture their feedback prior to launching a public consultation. Unfortunately, our intentions have been miss-interpreted [sic]  and the information has been shared in the public domain prior to being finalised.”

The council – now apparently back-pedalling on its proposals –  says the original release to “stakeholders”  had “noted all of the areas where there are currently byelaws restricting dogs from certain behaviors ” [sic] .

The area of ” No Walkies Zones” would have been increased – but now the Vale Council’s entire Public Spaces Protection Order scheme has been withdrawn and is to be re-drafted.

The council goes on to says “It appears that we were proposing to ban dogs from certain parks all together. This was never the intention. We as a Council feel that the Vale of Glamorgan is a very dog friendly County and we have numerous parks and open spaces for dogs and dog walkers to enjoy. The main issue that we are seeking to tackle with the PSPO is to modernise the raft of legislative arrangements we currently have in place to provide better controls on the minority of dog owners who do not remove their dog faeces from public places.”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has now decided “not to launch the public consultation on 20 June as originally planned and communicated” . That’s because the council needs to “take the time to reconsider the wording of the notice.”

The consultation about the use of PSPOs to tackle dog fouling has been removed from the Vale’s website “ so as not to cause further confusion”.

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PENARTH TOWN COUNCIL WAS SET TO RENT-OUT “HOLIDAY APARTMENTS” IN THE KYMIN

Penarth Town Council – it’s now been revealed – wanted to turn the upstairs area of The Kymin into three apartments for “reasonably priced” holiday lets

It’s now been revealed that  the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council – was planning to redesign the upstairs of the venerable building – and let part of it out as three “reasonably priced holiday apartments”.

It’s the first time such a revelation has come to light about the council’s top-secret – and abortive – plans to acquire and run the  Kymin .

The Kymin and its grounds are public property

Penarth Town Council had been involved in 18 months of top-secret negotiations  to acquire the Kymin from its landlords, the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The scheme became badly unstuck when Penarth Council’s business plan was found not to stack-up and was thrown out by the Conservative-controlled Vale Council.

If Penarth Town Council HAD entered the holiday lettings business – it would be been competing head-to-head with private Bed and Breakfast operators in the town.

All the private B&B’s pay Council Tax and the Penarth Precept – which the council uses to fund its explanding operations.  B&B owners would therefore have been paying tax to subsidise a  competitive rival – in the shape of the council itself .

In letting out the Kymin as Holiday Apartments Penarth Town Council would have been competing head to head with private B&B operators in the town. The council says the upstairs of the Kymin could have been redesigned to offer 3 “reasonably priced holiday apartments with dedicated access”. The council claims that the plan would have “satisfied a shortage of accommodation in Penarth’s tourism sector

A council report released last night says the bed and breakfast scheme was envisaged as part of what the council describes as its “future vision” .

Following the failure of its takeover bid for the Kymin the council is now asking the Vale of Glamorgan Council was a 25 year lease on the Kymin site

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AFTER A WEEK LONG LEAK – “STANWELL LAKES COUNTRY PARK” FINALLY RUNS DRY

Welsh Water engineers finally polishing  off repairs on the mains leak beneath Stanwell Road yesterday afternoon (Photo John Clark)

Contractors working for Welsh Water finally completed repairs yesterday afternoon on the major mains water leak beneath the road surface in Penarth’s Stanwell Road.

A spokesman for Welsh Water had confidently told PDN yesterday  morning that the repairs had already been completed “overnight” (on   Monday June 19th)  – but this proved somewhat wide of the mark : contractors were still working at the scene yesterday (Wednesday) .

Lake Stanwell – which has been part of Penarth for more than seven days –  had become in its own way a bit of a tourist attraction .Rumours than some Labour councillors  were proposing setting up a wake boarding circuit  there were not confirmed

Some motorists were tempted to use Lake Stanwell as a temporary car wash

Fresh water bubbling out of one of Welsh Water’s road covers provided the key  clue  – unravelling the mystery as to which public utility was responsible.

It was seven days earlier that a Welsh Water engineer  had put his finger on the problem and diagnosed that there was probably a leak somewhere. After that, it was a full week before engineers returned to the scene to deal with it.

Welsh Water said “We always aim to repair leaks as soon as we can after being notified of them however some can be more challenging to repair than others.  In the case of Stanwell Road, the location of the repair meant we needed to liaise with the local Highways Authority to agree a time to undertake the repair which would cause the least inconvenience.  We also wanted to make sure that the repair could be carried out with minimal disruption to customer supplies, which again takes time to plan.”

As thousands of gallons of water flowed unchecked, large puddles formed near the Stanwell Road traffic lights  – so large in fact that some local residents considered the area should be redesignated as “Stanwell Lakes Country Park” .

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A FLOATING PIECE OF THE FATHERLAND PASSES PENARTH

With tugs fore and aft MS Deutschland passes Penarth en route for Cardiff

The 22,400 ton compact cruise ship MS Deutschland passed Penarth sea front at mid-day today – on her way to dock for a short time in Cardiff

The ship was launched in 1998 but is decorated in the style of the 1920s . She can carry up to 513 passengers along with a crew of 260 a gross tonnage of 22,400 and has seven passenger accessible decks.

A belch of smoke from her funnel as Deutschland goes astern to “put the brakes on”

MS Deutschland  is the star of a German TV series called Das Traumschiff (“The Dream Ship”), which has been filmed aboard her for 15 years.

During the 2012 London Olympics in London, the German Olympic Committee used the MS Deutschland as floating piece of the fatherland and a hospitality ship.

“Full Astern Trueman!!”. Black smoke pours from the tug Trueman as she strains every sinew against the Westerly wind to pull the stern of the big liner straight, so that she can enter Cardiff Docks. It’s a tight fit. The lock is 27 metres wide. The liner is 24 metres wide (Photo John Clark)

In 15 January 2012, the ship went aground  in the Beagle Channel at the tip of South America. No one was injured and the ship was able to continue its journey after an investigation by the Federal Bureau for Maritime Casualty Investigation.

Barring accidents, MS Deutschland is due to sail  from Cardiff tonight on the late night  tide.

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