The new owners of the former Penarth British Legion Club, ABA Holdings Ltd, are seeking to remove a Vale Council restriction which prevents anyone employed in the new offices being set-up in the building either arriving too early – or working too late.
There was no such restriction on the British Legion itself, when it occupied the first and second floors of the premises and operated its bars and dining facilities there until late at night.
The two floors, once occupied by the Legion, are now about to be converted into commercial offices. However – the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council has imposed a restriction requiring all staff employed there not to start work before 08:00 on weekday mornings and not to work there after 18:00 in the evening .
On Sundays the Vale Council has laid down that no one can use the offices before 10:00 in the morning and must leave by 17:00 on Sunday evenings. The council claims this is to “safeguard the amenities of adjoining occupiers, and to ensure compliance with the terms of Policy ENV27 of the Unitary Development Plan.”
ABA Holdings has told the council that the condition “is not necessary or reasonable.” and points out that the Welsh Government has laid down six tests that should be met before such a restriction is applied. These require a condition to be :-
- Relevant to planning
- Relevant to the development to be permitted;
- Reasonable in all other respects
ABA Holdings has told the council “A condition should not be imposed unless it is considered necessary” and that therefore the time-restrictions the council has applied are not either necessary or reasonable.
The new owners say the time-restrictions have already had “a significant negative commercial impact” on their ability to let the offices to prospective tenants.
When the application to remove the condition came before Penarth Town Council Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said that although councillors were sad to see the British Legion Club close ” in the name of progress I move for acceptance”.
Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines ) said when it was the British Legion it was open a lot longer than that [i.e. the restricted hours set by the Vale Council] and the Bottle Shop underneath was also open late . He said “I think we should relax the time restrictions”.
Penarth Council recommended that the time restrictions should be lifted – but the Vale of Glamorgan Council has yet to agree.