The lane behind 21 Victoria Road - "Jack's Lane" was to have been the site of the new two-storey house

The lane behind 21 Victoria Road – “Jack’s Lane” was to have been the site of the new two-storey house

The prominent local architect Chris Loyn, who is president of the Penarth Civic Society (the body dedicated to preserving Penarth) has launched an appeal against the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s refusal to allow him to build a new  two-storey detached house in  Penarth’s Conservation Area.


Chris Loyn president of Penarth Civic Society

Chris Loyn president of Penarth Civic Society

The application (originally reported by PDN  on December 18th 2015 ) had been made in a personal capacity by Mr Loyn. Mr Loyn had sought permission to build the new house in the back-garden of his existing home at 21 Victoria Road.

The new home in the rear garden of No. 21 was to have fronted onto  a back-alley which Mr Loyn  named “Jack’s Lane” after his son.

A watercolour impression of what the new two-storey house would look like in Jack's Lane at the rear of Victoria Road

A watercolour impression of what the new two-storey house would have looked like  in “Jack’s Lane” at the rear of Victoria Road

Members of Penarth Town Council’s planning committee – most of whose members know Mr Loyn personally –  had conducted a “site visit” to the location and supported the scheme subject to a condition that new house would “always be ancillary to the main house and that it cannot be sold off into separate dwellings”.

The new house would have opened onto Jack's Lane behind Victoria Road

The new house would have opened onto “Jack’s Lane” behind Victoria Road

However  Penarth Council’s recommendation was over-ridden by a Vale of Glamorgan Council planning officer who  rejected the scheme because it “represents an unacceptable and inappropriate form of “back land” residential development that does not respect the established function of this rear lane location nor the prevailing pattern of surrounding development and therefore would not serve to preserve or enhance the character of this part of the conservation area.” Permission to demolish existing buildings in the back garden was also refused.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

When the Vale’s decision had been was notified to Penarth Council’s planning committee last month Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)  said that in the Vale’s written comments there was  reference to an intention to “flog-off” the existing main house  – 21 Victoria Road.

That meant the plan was contrary to the condition which  Penarth Council’s planning committee had recommended be applied  – i.e. that the proposed new house should be “ancillary to Number 21 Victoria Road ” .

Now the matter will be going to a formal appeal to be considered by the UK Planning Inspectorate.


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  1. David Moorcraft says:

    There are other dwellings built in Penarth lanes, e.g. Windsor Terrace Lane, Rectory Rd lane. Where is the line drawn ?

  2. anne says:

    It is incredible that any civic society would have a ‘president’ who has no respect for conservation areas. Unfortunately his own property and changes made to it are a travesty in a conservation area. Penarth has a policy on garden grabbing/ infill – Chris Loyns propsed huge monstrosity is what is called a unwanted negative factor in the Penarth Conservation Area Appraisal and Management PlanJuly 2011 – “Unsympathetic modern development: there are several infill developments built prior to conservation area designation, which SERIOUSLY IMPAIR the character of the area, having no relationship in style, materials or scale to the adjacent traditional buildings.” We should all strive to protect our conservation areas as it is what makes Penarth special and such a great place to live.

    • Mark says:

      Completely agree with you. How can the “president” of a civic society propose a development so obviously out of keeping with the area?

  3. Big Davey says:

    Seems like there is a conflict of interests here with this chap being President of the PCC.

    I just don’t understand why he would be in this position if he clearly doesn’t respect the Penarth Built Environment.

  4. jtr69 says:

    I think that this proposed building is terrific and would breathe life into a grubby and under utilised back alley.
    I agree that the Conservation area rules should apply to the existing street facing architecture, but these lanes offer nothing to the local vernacular.

  5. Annoyed says:

    Sounds like a great idea…houses in rear lanes…think of the parking issues and noise to peoples rear gardens….they are gardens….not building plots, shame on you Mr Lloyn!

    • jtr69 says:

      I can’t believe how curmudgeonly and NIMBYish people in Penarth are.!
      This town is changing fast and we should welcome positive change. This includes good, modern architecture. This building proposal is a positive step in my eyes. It is a well designed and nicely considered piece of architecture which will create a quiet, private residence, it’s not exactly a nightclub or a factory that is being proposed, it can only serve to improve the area.
      Loosen up everyone.!

      • Tom says:

        And I can’t believe how determinedly self-serving some people are. It seems to me that for every so-called ‘NIMBY’, there is someone else trying it on. It is clear who benefits from this particular proposal so what name would you give to that? I do object when people try to make others feel Luddites or stick-in-the-muds by saying ‘this town is changing fast’ – as though there’s something wrong with wanting to protect the town from rampant development (or precedents being set which allow that). In point of fact, isn’t that one of the aims of the ‘civic society’?

      • Neil says:

        Yes, let’s build ‘modern’ houses in every lane in Penarth…what a grand idea…remember to leave enough room for the 4x4s

  6. Paul says:

    The current lane looks so pretty though and completely deserves to be conserved. Perhaps a little more graffiti and rubbish might be introduced though to bring it up to the standards of other lanes in Penarth

    • Freddie says:

      What? As opposed to a whacking great big house with enough glass for a car showroom?

      • Paul says:

        Freddie, no but these lanes are an eyesore and people should be encouraged to do something with them instead of leaving them as they are. Planning applications should be more iterative so instead of applying for a two storey house to be built something more sympathetic to the area is developed.

  7. Max says:

    Lanes are lanes. Lanes were never meant to host houses. In view of this application, I think Chris Loyn should reconsider his position as ‘president’ of the civic society.

    • jtr69 says:

      Anyone noticed that there is a chronic housing shortage…? We should all be doing what can to help young people get on the housing ladder and I see these back lanes a mini-brownfield sites.
      We could comfortably build dozens of mews style properties in the back lanes of Penarth and in my eyes turn these no-go areas into safe and clean mews.
      A recent burglary in Westbourne Road was accessed via the back lane. They are nothing less than a hotbed for thieves, Japanese Knotweed and dumped sofas.
      Also, Just think of all that lovely extra council tax that would be generated for VOG…

  8. Max Wallis says:

    Back lanes have their uses, for bicycle or cart storage, access for tree felling and garden clearing or house renovation; getting little used cars, caravans or boats off the front road. Some like Rectory Lane are wide enough for service access, but this one (that Loyn wants to claim as Jack’s) is too narrow for VoG waste vehicles, fire engines, ambulances and the support-worker vehicle parking that Loyn expects for the disabled residents. He appears to have bought next door’s garden – a mid-terrace house – leaving them only a narrow permissive path as rear access. Combining two rear gardens was done nearby on Westbourne Rd, but the two semi’s have wide side accesses and the inserted house has access from Station Road. Loyn’s application argued his was no worse than other rear-lane developments – he must think we’re blind. Surely he’ll have to resign as president, to end the embarrassment to conservation-minded members of the Penarth Society.

  9. Jane Foster says:

    I like the idea that any random person can now name/rename Penarth’s lanes to stroke their own egos. Get in there first though as it seems nobody else on Mr Loyn’s road now has a claim on the name of their lane.

    As for his ‘designs’, I remember a few years back seeing plans that he drew up for a concrete monstrosity to go in one of the front gardens of the lovely stone houses in Paget Place. It was ugly beyond words, filled the space between the houses so intrusively with no regard whatsoever to its neighbours, completely out of place with its surroundings and had no artistic merit beyond that of a designer bomb shelter. Good modern architecture it was not, and given its size and location, not intended to help young people get on the housing ladder.

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