Penarth Town Council planning committee has recommended approval of a revised design for a new house proposed to be built on a vacant site called “Overway” at 12 Park Road, within the Penarth Conservation Area .
The house is being commissioned by famous opera singer Rebecca Evans and her husband Stephen Jones and is the third version of the design to come before councillors.
The original (Mark 1) plan was for a flat-roofed structure (above) which, if built on the sloping site, would have preserved the open view towards the sea for those in neighbouring homes across the road . This was passed and approved by the Vale of Glamrogan Council
An alternative proposal (Mark II) for a large but more traditionally-styled home with pitched roofs was then submitted – but this was not supported by the Vale Council’s Conservation Officer.
In that Mark II version, the flat-roof design had been replaced with an entirely new layout with pitched and hipped roofs in what was described as ”an attempt to create a more traditional form of development” – but this didn’t pass muster with the Vale’s Conservation Officer.
Now, after considerable consultation between the architects and the Vale of Glamorgan planning department, a new Mark III plan for a two storey house with detached garage has been submitted which reduces the size of the house from 500 sq metres to 370 sq metres and unlike the previous design, has no basement.
Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said the Vale Council had been “minded to refuse ” the Mark II plan but additional time had been provided for the applicant and the Vale planners to get together. The planners, he said “wanted this to happen”. He moved that the Penarth planning committee should recommend acceptance of the [Mark III] scheme .
Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell) said the issue was not what was being built – but where it was being built. She was critical of the architect’s artist’s impressions and said “I can’t see how that fits into Park Road. It looks as if it’s built in La-La-Land as far as its surroundings are concerned ” . She said she would like to have seen the design “in the place where it’s going to be – in relation to the other houses in the road”.
Cllr Gwyn R0berts (Labour St Augustines) said the proposed house was on the site of the old (now demolished) house . It was well back from the road and did not dominate the other houses. “I really don’t think we have any significant grounds to object – not that I want to anyway -I think it’s quite nice”. He seconded Cllr Williams’s proposal.
Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) ,in the chair, reminded members that councillors had been on a previous site visit to the location.
Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) said that because the house was set-back [from the road] he would support it but had it been closer to the street he would not have done so.
Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said the design reminded him of a miniature County Hall, – and was “in a very large plot” which in WW2 had been the site of one of Penarth’s barrage balloons . He said that the former military “WCs” were still to be seen at the bottom of the site. He thought that the new design of the house was“far better than the original one which was a very modern sandwich type development”. Cllr Ernest said “a large house on a generous plot “was in line with the generality of the other houses in the area.
Not to be outdone on knowledge of local history, Cllr Gwyn Roberts noted that the reason that the original house on the plot had been called “Overway” was that the family – which had originally built the now-demolished house – had lived on the opposite side of Park Road.
Cllr Ernest added more historical background by noting that the wartime barrage balloon sited there in WW2 had once broken adrift and had been blown out to sea – trailing cable behind it – an episode which veteran Cllr Clive Williams claimed he was “too young to remember“.
Penarth Town Council’s planning committee is now to recommend that the Vale of Glamorgan Council approve the scheme