An impression of the new desgn for the redevelopment of Ashdene Manor - as viewed from Bridgeman Road. (Courtesy of John Wotton Architects) , Penarth

An impression of the new design for the redevelopment of Ashdene Manor – as viewed from Bridgeman Road. (Courtesy of John Wotton Architects, Cardiff)

A new planning application has been made for the redevelopment of one of Penarth’s classic mansions –  Ashdene Manor on Bridgeman Road.

The new Ashdene Manor application –  proposes to convert the existing building into 3 apartments with new-build extensions of 6 apartments.

Ashdene Manor seen from Bridgeman Road

Ashdene Manor as it looks now – viewed from from Bridgeman Road

Ashdene Manor seen from the East

The rear East-facing side of Ashdene Manor

Ashdene Manor was bought in March last year by  EWM Property ( a company controlled by the multi-millionaire entrepreneur Philip Day of “Edinburgh Woollen Mill”) for £1,250,000 .

Mr Day’s firm also owns  the Holm House Hotel  in Marine Parade Penarth, Gardenhurst on Holmesdale place and the derelict shell of the Edwardian mansion Normandy on Bridgeman Road – which is next door to Ashdene Manor .

The new scheme is by John Wotton Architects of Cardiff who designed the new Beachcliff development on Penarth Esplanade.

Ashdene Manor which is next-door to "Normandy" in Bridgeman Road

Ashdene Manor is next-door to “Normandy” in Bridgeman Road

Ashdene Manor was originally built by Mr J.P. Jones, who was the contractor for many of the buildings erected by the Victorian entrepreneur Solomon Andrews in Cardiff and Penarth.

The house later became the home of  David Hannah JP – a former colliery apprentice, born in 1855, who rose to become a board director of a number of South Wales colliery companies.

He was chairman of the Welsh Navigation Steam Coal Company and President of the South Wales Institute of Engineers.

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  1. Jtr69 says:


  2. Ron Foxton says:

    Wow! What a statement piece of modern day architecture that will be if passed swiftly through our local taste-led planning dept. Ignoring any existing Victorian vernacular, resisting the pull of sympathetic reconstruction or restoration and picking it’s styling cues from the offer section of the Wickes/B&Q product catalogue… It’s going to be gorgeous isn’t it? Seriously, how are these architectural practices staying in business? There’s a whole wealth of detailing in the current building being stripped to create the most featureless of projects – even the traditional bay’s have been ignored in favour of acres of cheap red brick – and not with an eye for cleanly-structured, modernist thinking either. It may as well be demolished with the lack of understanding the architects have for the poor sod. If this gets past planning then they (planners and ‘architects’) really should hang up there bifocals and consider another career – I hear Wickes are hiring pointy nail counters…

    • jtr69 says:

      I quite agree.
      They have chosen the wrong Architects.This building is an architectural gem and should be restored with respect to it’s vernacular.
      What a shame.

    • Big Davey says:

      Agree with RF.

      A complete lack of empathy with the lovely victorian mansion.

      Whenever I see a house for sale that say “Architect Designed” you just know it is going to be a crass indulgence that seeks to clash with everything around it.

      We seem to specialise in Penarth in using Architects that take joy in destroying the grandeur and heritage of some of Penarth’s fine buildings.

  3. GDM says:

    It’s an appalling scheme … This is not good architecture or positive development it is nothing short of vandalism. This is one of the very few remaining “fine” properties that haven’t been bulldozed or bastardised by developers . If the new “owner ” wishes to make internal alterations and divide in to flats then so be it but to bolt on this dreadful carbuncle to gain maximum profits from the site is totally unacceptable . Don’t tell me that there are not people in the town with enough wealth who could restore and retain this as a single dwelling. On far too many occasions the planning process and the Vale of Glamorgan have completely failed to protect Penarth and its architectural legacy seemingly more concerned about dormers on terraced houses … Maybe that’s all they can get their heads around or feel they can object to . It’s obvious that the new owner having considered his options has realised paying £1.25 million for a property within which he may be able to develop three flats at a probable cost of a further £1 million does not stack up financially so now he is looking to bugger up the whole thing with overdevelopment.. well frankly that’s his problem not the people of Penarths or the Vales .. The answer is put the house back on the market and let someone who wants to sensitively restore the property get on hold of it .. I hope for once the Vale planning Dept has some backbone and says NO and this guy can get back to selling his pants and knickers .. Surely there is more money in that and he’s better at it as he sucks as a property developer

    • Big Davey says:

      “I hope for once the Vale planning Dept has some backbone and says NO and this guy can get back to selling his pants and knickers .. Surely there is more money in that and he’s better at it as he sucks as a property developer ”

      Laughing my head off, great line.

  4. Ron Foxton says:

    That’s ‘their bifocals’ of course, not ‘there’. Even this smart arse needs to edit his own copy. Much in the way that the current planning application probably stated ‘proposed development’ instead of ‘naive crayon scribblings’…

  5. Harry says:

    It does make you wonder that these architects spend many many years at university and design schools obviously fine tuning their skills, and when they are asked to design a replacement for a previous iconic building in town, they come up with a very bland building which does not retain or even give a nod to the history of the previous house there. This could be a block of flats in any town in any part of the country. Come on architects, am sure you could do better.

  6. Louise says:

    At least someone is trying to do something with this building instead of leaving it to fall down.

    • Jalopy says:

      You do realise it is being left to fall down exactly because that excuse is used to circumvent the fact that perfectly fine houses (such as the one in question) cannot be bulldozed due to the conservation area?

      And do you not also realise that it has been purposefully had the roof and windows removed to accelerate this process?

      • Tom says:

        Normandy is the one that has had the roof and windows removed. Ashene manor was being lived in up until 2014..

  7. Mgg says:

    No development ,and make it appropriate , until they repair the house next door that they own!!
    Louise I don’t think the property foe development is in any danger of falling down.

  8. Mgg says:

    Oops apologies Louise I see what you are saying ..I musnt be left to end up like next door .

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