COUNCIL TO DEBATE “UNAUTHORISED ALTERATIONS” AT PENARTH’S TURNER GALLERY

Without permission the balustrade was removed and well was boarded over.

Without permission the first-floor light well was boarded over and the balustrade removed

On top of the protests over controversial plans to stage a monthly Food Fair in Penarth’s Grade II Listed Turner House Gallery – there’s now more trouble on the way for its leaseholder  – the “charity” Ffotogallery.

The Turner House Art Gallery  is held in trust for the people of Penarth by the National Museum of Wales who leased it to Ffotogallery for holding photographic exhibitions.  

The central lightwell on the first floor of Penarth's Turner House (A Grade II Listed Building) was filled in for an exhibition last year and neither it nor the surrounding handrail have been restoreder the which was ? It's now been filled in and the surrounding handrail removed.

The central lightwell on the first floor of Penarth’s Turner House (A Grade II Listed Building) was filled in for an exhibition in 2014 and neither it nor the surrounding handrail were put back

In November 2014 the Vale of Glamorgan Council received a complaint about internal alterations carried out at the gallery .The roof of the building had a skylight to bring daylight into the first floor of the building.

Beneath the roof light there was a “light well” – an opening in the first floor surrounded by a balustrade  – which enabled the light to reach down the ground floor and gave the entire building an airy feel. These “fixed features ” were “Listed” as part of the fabric of this historic building.

The nine-screen "cinema" installed in Turner House, Penarth

The nine-screen “cinema” installed in Turner House, Penarth

A guitar being played in a bath was on one one of the 9 screens

A guitar being played in a bath was on one one of the 9 screens

In 2014 however Ffotogallery staged an Artes Muntdi exhjibition of a multi-screen video artwork by the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson.

This involved blacking  out the first floor and turning it into into a nine-screen video cinema which exhibited continuous DVDs –  including some of people playing guitars in baths in decaying cvountry houses.

In preparation for this the gallery’s skylight was obscured, the “light well”  in the first floor was filled-in,  joists were put in place to close off the void,  the balustrade around the light well was removed and the entire gallery floor area was carpeted to create a blacked-out multi-screen video exhibition area.

The First Floor gallery has been converted into a 9-screen "cinema" - but there aren't any seats

The First Floor gallery was  converted into a 9-screen “cinema” – where people stood to watch the 60 minute DVDs

…But when the exhibition was over, the lightwell and the balustrade were not put back.

A council report says “These  works are considered to affect the character of the building as one of special architectural or historic interest and, as such, are works that would have  required the consent of the Council under the provisions of section 7 of the 1990 Act. As the necessary consent has not been granted, the works to fill in the light well and remove the balustrade are a breach of section 9 of the 1990 Act.”

Turner House - which had been closed for 4 months re-opened with another ehibition by a Lithuanian photographer The first floor atrium has not yet been restored

Turner House – which had been closed for 4 months re-opened with another exhibition by a Lithuanian photographer . The first floor atrium has not yet been restored and there’s no daylight in the gallery

The planning committee agenda says that “A series of correspondence has been sent to the owner [ the National Museum of Wales] and occupier [Ffotogallery] to advise of the breach of planning control that has occurred and to request that works are voluntarily undertaken to reinstate the light well and balustrade. To date the necessary works have not been undertaken.”

The lightwell and balustrade was installed by what the Vale Council describes as “notable architects, T Alwyn Lloyd and Partners” and “make a significant contribution to
the character and appearance of the interior of the building.

The Vale Council says that if the National Museum or Ffotogallery had asked permission to carry out these alterations “it would have been recommended  that consent should not be granted in view of the duty imposed under section 16 of the 1990 Act.”

Turner House Gallery and its paintings was bequeathed to the people of Penarth

Turner House Gallery and its paintings was bequeathed to the people of Penarth

The Vale Council’s planning department is to ask the Vale Council’s planning committee when it meets next week  “to serve a listed building enforcement notice to require the reinstatement of the light well and balustrade” at Penarth’s Grade II listed Turner House Gallery .

There’s a bleak warning for the National Museum and Ffotogallery of what might happen if they don’t play ball.

If the Listed Building  Enforcement Notice is not complied with ” a person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £20,000; or on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or a fine, or both.”

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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4 Responses to COUNCIL TO DEBATE “UNAUTHORISED ALTERATIONS” AT PENARTH’S TURNER GALLERY

  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    They are obviously unfit to run a gallery and have no respect for the building. They defibately shouldn’t get a renewal of the lease.

  2. AK says:

    No-one has yet suggested knocking it down and building a car park.

  3. Lm says:

    Doesn’t anyone keep a eye on these listed buildings?

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