The approximate site of the proposed 350 new homes

The approximate site of the proposed 350 new homes

An outline planning application  by developers Taylor Wimpey to build 350 new homes on a site off Cog Road – just beyond the boundaries of  Penarth – prompted spirited exchanges at Penarth Town Council’s planning committee as Labour members attempted to stifle discussion on the issue .

Reporting to the committee the Town Clerk, Shan Bowden, said the proposed scheme was located outside the boundaries of Penarth but was being brought to the committee for observations because of the impact it was  likely to have on the infrastructure of  the town .

The 12.7 hectare site to the  north-east of Sully has been earmarked as a  “reserve” site for residential development in the Vale Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) . The outline planning proposal is for 350 new homes, ranging from  one-bedroom apartments to large detached houses. It would  provide homes for an additional population of 690 people.

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town Council

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town Council

Council leader Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) said “We really don’t need to debate this – it’s going to go through the proper processes and a very wise inspector will decide upon its merits or otherwise . I propose that it’s futile to debate the issue tonight”.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) disagreed. He thought the Penarth Planning Committee should discuss it. Cllr Ernest said there was a “huge amount of concern about the scale of the development” . The existing local population of Sully and Lavernock was already around 3,500 . This  proposal would be adding 690 to that number. Cllr Ernest noted there were “no proposals to improve the highway network in any way”.A “huge amount”  of the proposed residential development proposed in the  Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) was being allocated to Sully.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Planning Committee chairman Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) interrupted to say that  the current [Labour] Vale Council’s LDP proposed fewer houses than had been proposed in the previous [Conservative] administration’s LDP and this was a “reserve site” whereas in the [Conservative] LDP it had not been a “reserve site” .Cllr Ernest contradicted Cllr Thomas, telling him that the site had  in fact been a “reserve site” in the previous [Conservative] LDP.

Cllr Ernest also anticipated problems for  primary schools and school transport. He said that both Sully School and  Evenlode primary schools were  full and the only available places were in Barry. He also pointed out that most  Sully secondary pupils now attend Stanwell School within Penarth and all these pupil movements would create traffic. Cllr Ernest said the planning application was “premature” and should wait until the LDP – “for better or worse” was in place.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said a promised new school had not been provided for the 400 new homes at the end of Dinas Road in Penarth – with the result that children from that area, who were in the catchment area for Evenlode School [where there are no places] , were now having to attend Albert Road Primary School.

 Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said ” I really think it’s wrong for us to debate this now” . He thought the proposal was a matter for Sully Council and the Vale of Glamorgan – not for Penarth . Cllr Roberts said he “did not want this to become a party-political issue” – but then went on claim that, in  Labour’s LPD, proposed residential development in  “all of the Sully/Penarth Zone is very substantially reduced from that permitted by the last [Conservative] administration”. Cllr Roberts insisted ” It’s improper for us to be discussing this here, now”.

Cllr Clive Williams said Cllr Gwyn Roberts had misunderstood him. He had not been making any political points. He had queried  the overall requirement for “9000 houses” which was being imposed on the Vale from what he called “the Conservative Government in London”.

 Cllr Neil Thomas, who as chairman had introduced the issue to the committee, then said  “This is neither the time nor the forum, to debate this issue” .

Cllr Anthony Ernest said the application had been referred to Penarth Town Council and the council was fully entitled to comment on it. He said “We all know once an outline application goes through the system, that’s it. They’ve got their basic consent“.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts claimed the Vale Council had NOT referred the application to Penarth Town Council – it had been brought forward by the Town Clerk. He then proposed a motion :-  ” I move that it is inappropriate for us to make any comment on this application“. [PDN Note: In fact Councillor Roberts was wrong.  Penarth Council was formally consulted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. on January 14th 2014 asking for a response by tomorrow  February 4th 2014.]

Cllr Ernest moved an amendment to Cllr Roberts’s motion , which was seconded by Cllr Clive Williams. It said “We note the points made in this meeting and that they be conveyed to the Vale of Glamorgan Council.” 

Cllr Neil Thomas (chairing the committee) counted the show-of-hands votes and declared the  amendment  lost. This was disputed by Cllr Ernest who said the vote had been 3 for and 3 against –  but the chairman said there had, in fact, been 4 votes against.(PDN regrets it cannot report how individual  councillors voted as it was not possible to see their hands)

The substantive motion then received 4 votes in favour and none against. The end result, therefore, was that Penarth Town Council Planning Committee is making no official comment on the Taylor Wimpey outline planning application.

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  1. Say No More says:

    Thank you for this, a very interesting insight into the dynamics – if that isn’t an inappropriate word in this context – of Penarth Town Council. I, for one, am grateful for this detailed and revealing account,

  2. David Wilton says:

    This report shows why the public are fed up with entrenched party politics. Most people don’t care if it’s in Penarth boundaries or not. Stop hiding behind procedures. Of course it’s going to seriously impact the infrastructure of Penarth, and therefore the Town council should be giving their opinion to the Vale. There are many negative knock-ons to this development. However we all know how this story ends… Developers gets their permission, builds a loads of lego houses, and run off with pockets full of cash….Penarth for years struggles to cope, until people accept the lower standard of facilities.

  3. jasja says:

    From the Labour Councillors response it is very obvious that they are the product of the Welsh Assembly FAILED Education system since the Assembly was formed, our school leavers have one of the lowest literacy and numeracy levels in Europe !. In other words none of the Labour Councillors have the capacity to read i.e. both LDP submissions. The Vale’s LDP was very heavily criticised, by the Labour Welsh Assemby for being poorly written, its inaccuracy and POOR and MISLEADING analysis of data. One only needs to refer to the Vales LDP statement on the current housing stock for Lavernock, if I recall the Labour LDP stated there are 4 houses in Lavernock!! When it came to the vote on the subject above it really smacks of corruption and VERY POOR ARITHMETICAL SKILLS on behalf of the illiterate and innumerate Socialist Councillors.

  4. George Smith says:

    Until some magic is worked on the transport system then it would be silly to keep building houses, no matter where they are built in Sully or Penarth Cardiff bound traffic will jam up at the merrie harrier and barons court – end of. I see no way around this and thats only one aspect of the total infrastructure of services that wont work.

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