Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has been discussing retrospective application from Dr Sid Gautam to demolish a house on Clinton Road Penarth (No 14) which has – in fact – already disappeared from the landscape.
Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) told Penarth planning committee that he found it “absurd” that Dr Gautam was asking for planning permission to demolish a building had – in fact – already been demolished. He asked “What happens if we say ‘no – you can’t demolish it’? ”
Cllr Williams said that even though the rear of the house had collapsed, the front of it was supposed to have remained standing – and had not been “at risk in any way “.
Planning chairman Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) said the proposed replacement “new-build” house on the same plot would be enormous. “It is huge and it is also four storeys” he said .
Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said “I saw this building. I’m no building control inspector but it looked really unstable”. He asked whether the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s building control officers had declared the structure unstable. Cllr Roberts said that at first glance it had looked as if there was more of the building left standing than there actually had been.
Cllr Thomas said he understood the building had been “fairly undermined by the work that had gone on previously – which caused the building to collapse in the first place”.
Cllr Roberts opined that the front section of the house, which had remained standing, had probably had to be demolished on safety grounds .
Cllr Thomas said it was not necessary to comment on that aspect. He – as chair – and the vice chair of Penarth planning committee (Cllr Mike Cuddy) had recommended [during the summer recess] that Dr Gautam’s application be opposed because “the proposed new build appears disproportionately large given the scale of other properties on that side of the street” . The planning committee is also telling the Vale Council that “The design is out of character for the Conservation Area and this council would prefer to see a fully worked up design and access statement before further consideration is given to the application”
Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell) asked whether there was any proposal for “change of use” within the planning application.
Cllr Thomas replied that there was not – but he noted that the proposed new build would be “effectively four storeys” as it was proposed to extend into the attic and “put a load of stuff underground . I don’t know whether it’s a nuclear bunker or what”.
Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) pointed out that the site was not within the Penarth Conservation Area but nevertheless thought it should be noted that the proposed development would impact on other adjacent properties.
Cllr Williams said Health and Safety Executive Officers had been in attendance at the Clinton Road site up until 21:00 on the day of the collapse and they had “knocked all the parts of the building down which were a hazard”. Cllr Williams said the Health and Safety officers had seen fit to leave the front of the building standing . He said it was two days later that the frontage of the house had been demolished.
In the chair, Cllr Thomas said the question [of whether it had been necessary to demolish the front of the house] would come up when the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee came to consider the application.