This new apartment block could become the first thing people see on entering Penarth

This new apartment block could become the first thing people see on entering Penarth. Cogan railway  station and the station parking ground is at the rear. (Image :John Wotton Architects)

This modernistic apartment block could soon be the first building people see on the right hand side of the road when entering Penarth from Cardiff.

It would be built on a plot of overgrown land near Cogan Station – on the right hand side of the main road coming into Penarth – where the now derelict Cogan Community Hall stands.

The view from the south with Cogan Station car park in the foreground

The view from the West with Cogan Station car park – foreground (Image John Wotton Architects)

The planning application for the new development is  not the first for an apartment block on the site – there was a proposed earlier scheme for a 34 apartment block – but this revised version is for a higher-density version which would provide 44 dwellings classified as “social /affordable” for the Hafod Housing Association.

The scheme – by local firm John Wotton Architects (who also designed the new Beachcliff) – has been commissioned by Gareth Jenkins acting for Cardiff-based developers Jehu/Hendre. It would comprise a 50/50 mix of one and two bedroom apartments .

Cogan Community Hall is enveloped in overgrowth

Cogan Community Hall is enveloped in overgrowth

The existing, but derelict, Cogan Community Hall – the historic venue of former Prime Minister Lord Callaghan’s famous 1983 speech which torpedoed Labour Leader Michael Foot’s election prospects – is to be demolished.

The site also includes the now blocked up road tunnel which used to run beneath the main road and the two railway lines to emerge in what was then Penarth Docks (and is now the Tesco site) .

John Wotton Architects say that “Given that the site has benefited from previous forms of approval and given that this scheme is remarkably similar in terms of use, scale, massing, height, materials etc., we are confident that the local authority will be pleased to approve this application to create much needed housing stock, this being a good and sustainable location for such accommodation.”

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

When the application came before Penarth Town Council’s planning committee last night Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Cornerswell ) who is also a member the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee said the overall development was difficult to envisage on paper and proposed that, given the size of the application, a site meeting should be held prior to any discussion of the merits of the scheme. He also suggested that permission be sought to access the “derelict area” of the site.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) agreed  .He said this was a site, the position of which demanded “a particular type of building”. He said “It is a very open site on the principal approach road to Penarth” and thought  councillors needed to see whether it would fit in the surroundings.

The planning chairman Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) agreed it was a “gateway into Penarth” .

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) asked whether an earlier planning application had already been made.  It was confirmed that an earlier application had been made some time previously but this new application proposed 44 dwellings.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustine’s) said this was the main gateway to Penarth and the council had an obligation to consider the application carefully.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  said he understood there was already planning permission for the site but was “held up because of covenants”.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Williams said he was not being facetious in suggesting that the council should obtain some helium balloons so that councillors could “get the impact of how high that is“.  This had been done before in  respect of  an application for Plymouth Road .

Cllr Thomas said “I think it’s big and overshadowy for that particular piece of road”.

Cllr Mark Wilson intervened to say that members were now discussing the application whereas they should not do so until after the site visit.  The chairman Cllr Thomas concurred and ruled that discussion should be deferred.

Cllr Williams said he was anxious to see this scheme go through. The site had been derelict for a very-very long time.  “I think the accommodation is wanted in Penarth and if done correctly it’s going to be a good entrance into Penarth”. Cllr Thomas agreed that a site visit should be arranged as soon as possible.

The issue of whether or not helium balloons would be deployed to assist the councillors, was left hanging in the air.

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  1. Brickie says:

    Certainly an improvement on the current eyesore

  2. penarthblog says:

    I would hope that residents living in this development, if built, would tend to use trains rather than cars.

  3. 249ers says:

    I hope the developers will provide enough money under Section 106 so that the council will be able to improve the Tesco roundabout junction. This money will be paid to the council to reduce the impact of the development and in this case the extra flow of traffic and people from the new site could benefit from some of the dosh.

  4. Tom says:

    Eastern bloc apartments at the ‘gateway’ to the town? Oh they’ll spoil Penarth all right, that’s for sure.

    • pompousfruit says:

      Small windows and no balconies unlike in Cardiff Bay. How Eastern bloc apartments would look if they were built now.

      • Jtr69 says:

        John Peel once said that 99% of all new music is just porridge, I am afraid that this architectural proposal falls into this category. It is the sort of lazy middle management BIM driven crap that cash strapped architects pump out to keep their receptionists in a job. (Rant over)

      • pompousfruit says:

        What are you on about?

  5. Fishhenge says:

    No. Houses for owner/occupiers please, not more housing association microslums.

    • pompousfruit says:

      What difference does it make whether they are owned or rented. The design of the building, apartment layout, location and local facilities is what counts more. Most of those buying the apartments will let them out at inflated rents. Social housing is badly needed?

  6. Ian Perry says:

    Once again, the development of dwellings is being discussed before the transport infrastructure. Perhaps the currently blocked up tunnels on the road could be utilised to provide better access to Cogan Station – or perhaps the alternative proposal to move the station will materialise?

    Once this building goes up, the options for transport infrastructure are greatly diminished.

  7. AK says:

    They look awful.

    No architectural merit whatever – although this is the Council who permitted a monstrous carbuncle on the side of the former Raisdale hotel, so I’m sure it will pass on the nod.

  8. Matt says:

    They are mad trying to fit in 44 council flats into that space on an already congested area of Penarth!

    They should be using the land to redesign that roundabout and the train station!

    • snoggerdog says:

      not mad,greedy. its not an eyesore for the developers if they dont live here!

  9. Martin gossage says:

    Couldn’t be bothered to design something in harmony with the surroundings or with some sort of aesthetic. Appeal. .Straight up and down rectangular block ….Billybanks anyone? Go away and come back with something that looks like someone cares !!!!

  10. Brian says:

    I agree entirely with Ian Perrys’ comments! Yet another example of no overall plan for improved access to the town and a total absence of any “joined up ” thinking.Perhaps Cllr. Williams thinks that helium balloons issued to all Penarth residents would allow us to “float above” the problem of getting in and out of Penarth.

  11. Frank Bird says:

    Penarth traffic routes are already over congested. Furthermore where are the residents cars going to be parked. I guess we can say goodbye to Cogan train station parking? Maybe a good plan to create a fund which would be contributed to by the developers, so that the Vale can replace the old railway bridge with one that can take two lanes of traffic both ways.

  12. David Wilton says:

    Social and affordable Housing is desperately needed in Penarth and across Cardiff and the Vale. I would much prefer to see it being built on this derelict site, close to train, bus, school and leisure facilities than destroying greenfields/woodlands elsewhere, and where local communities aren’t as developed.

    The building is sizable, but looking at the plans there is only a small gap onto the main road which is a shame as a row of trees between the building and Windsor Rd would have really helped to break up the dominance.

    Personally, I would like to see the Section 106 money going toward reinstating a simple rail halt across the road on the Penarth line to give Cogan passengers of using the under capacity Penarth line instead of the congested Barry line – something I have campaigned for a few years now.

  13. Jane Foster says:

    It will go through with no problem – note the complete lack of greenery in the plans which fits in with all the current Penarth deforestation. So I suppose the lovely large tree which currently stands in front of the hall will be for the chop…

  14. AK says:

    I wonder if Robert Smith’s decrepit old van will still adorn the outer walls ?

  15. Parcel says:

    That Community Hall is a dereliction of duty……

Comments are closed.