The Windsor Road shop "Gifts @ No.9" was opened only in May this year. The Labour run Vale Council is objecting to the colour scheme

The new Windsor Road shop “Gifts @ No.9” was opened only in May this year by the Mayor of Penarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Now the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has raised objections to the choice of colour scheme made for the premises.

The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council is demanding that a well-known Penarth retailer change the newly painted  colour scheme on the frontage of her shop in Windsor Road.

The shop – called “Gifts at No.9” – is between Griffin Books and Funky Monkey  and was only opened in May this year by the Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) who is Leader of the Penarth Town Council.

"Gifts @ No.9" is the concept of experienced local retailer Cathy Evans who also owns two other successful businesses in Penarth. She says she had no idea there would be a problem with the colours of her shop.

“Gifts @ No.9” is the concept of experienced local retailer Cathy Evans who also owns two other successful businesses in Penarth. She says she had no idea there would be a problem with the colours of her Windsor Road shop.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has written to the leaseholder – experienced local retailer Cathy Evans – pointing out that the shop is a Grade II Listed Building and has made the  three-month-old colour scheme the subject of an “Enforcement Contravention” investigation initiated following what they claim to be a “report” to the  council (although they don’t say by whom).

The shop was previously leased by Windsors Gifts who closed down the business earlier this year.

Cathy Evans of Gifts @ 9  says she is now being asked to submit a planning application to the council – including a site plan and a document from the landlord confirming that he had been informed of the colour change.



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  1. Clive James says:

    What a load of baloney hasn’t the council and their workers got anythig better to do with their time than to harass people about petty things like this.

  2. Frank Bird says:

    Colorful and pleasant… get life councilors and find something worth complaining about.

  3. Christopher David says:

    Would sympathise if Penarth didn’t already look like an American shopping mall. Big business will get away with almost anything. Leave the small traders alone eh (within reason), and don’t shout to loud or you’ll have Doughty the sole trader (he thinks are companies ) crusher on their case.

  4. AK says:

    Looks nice – it reminds me of the pastel colours by the harbour in Aberaeron.

    • Rachel says:

      and Tenby. I like it and I think people have too much time on their hands if the colour is bothering them.

  5. Richard Snell says:

    what the hell is wrong with people its bright its clean its busy it employs people it pays council tax it pays vat it pays income tax its a bonus to the town

    • Resident 2.0 says:

      Well said!

      • Brian says:

        Agree totally, well said Richard!

      • Ann Other says:

        Exactly. What is wrong with these councillors? First, the Nicola Ice Cream scandal, now this! Do they not realise that they should not be meddling in what are purely BUSINESS decisions to be made on the spot by individual entrepreneurs. The shop owner knows what colour she needs to use on the shop to attract customers. Nicola knows whether there is a need for more ice cream sales on the pier. The Vale politicians and bureaucrats should not be trying to run a silly, petty,parochial version of a socialist centralised economy. Find something useful to do within your area of expertise and let enterprising people do their thing for everyone’s benefit.

  6. Penileaks says:

    Totally agree with the comments above.
    Total waste of council money and time and whoever ‘reported’ it to the council, should hang their hear in shame.
    Richard’s comments are spot on and if the VoG council make any sort of issue of this, they deserve to see businesses pack up and move out, which would be a disaster for Penarth.
    Grow up complainer and grow up VoG council, you are both behaving pathetically !!!

  7. Jeff B. says:

    For heaven’s sake, leave the poor shop owner alone! I think the shop looks really nice, and fits nicely in with the other shops. Pick on someone else! I think the Council picks on individuals in Penarth, but leaves big offenders alone.

  8. sjleworthy says:

    looks great!

    but yes, rules is rules i suppose. we cant all just go paint our properties any colour we like without planning in most cases.

  9. Resident 2.0 says:

    Does the council understand what marketing is? Ms Evans’ livelihood depends on attracting people to her store. It seems that the council feels its duty is to challenge small businesses, e.g. Nicola’s & Gifts @ No. 9, whilst allowing big businesses and chains to thrive. I can see from the comments that the people of Penarth do not tolerate this bullying behaviour!

  10. M Davies says:

    If the colour scheme was against Council policy why didn’t Cllr Cuddy say so before the opening?
    A look around Penarth will shoW you that the town is rapidly turning a dull grey colour as the shop fronts are being painted grey or black. It’s bad enough in summer but in winter it is really drab. Or are they all supposed to tone I with the unkempt roundabout?
    Hurray for a bit of colour Ty Hafan has already changed their shop front from a bright green to grey. Will the Principalitybe asked to change from r ed to gray? I think not.

  11. Ian Symonds says:

    I think the shop looks great and haven’t VoG got better things to do other than harass small independent traders. Its appalling that this is even an issue and I do hope that councillors and officers look more seriously at other things that have happened in Penarth over recent months.

  12. Emma says:

    Did the council apply for permission and think about conservation when they painted the pier that hideous green??

  13. Louise C says:

    Is it that different from what was there before? When you think of the huge business rates they are paying.
    No wonder we all agree, which is unique, I think.

  14. Brian says:

    Absolutely appalled that the VoG should harass one our small independent traders like this.They should be actively encouraging people to set up businesses in the town centre not putting “barriers” in their way.Personally I think the shop frontage blends in very well with the two adjacent shops and further enhances the appearance of the town centre. If the council are so concerned about the visual impact that shop frontages have they should have a close look at the now semi derelict Blockbuster store further down Windsor Road.Word of warning to them, though, they should not get too close as the fascia boarding is now falling off and is a danger to passers by.

  15. Jeff says:

    I think it’s tacky looking. Bright doesn’t always mean appealing. It’s quite a virulent purple and the signage looks cheap and nasty, and no it wasn’t me who ‘reported’ it. At best, it looks like a ‘New Age’ place selling crystals and books about people who think they’ve been reincarnated.

    • Frank Evans says:

      But so what? Is there an approved penarth colour scheme.

      • Lamp post says:

        Apparently not, but there should be. This IS tacky and cheap-looking and I agree with the council in this case. And no, it wasn’t me who reported it, but if I thought it would make a difference, I would have. Penarth is a Victorian town and has beautiful architecture hidden away above and behind many garish shop frontages. You would never see this in Cowbridge for example, which has as a result preserved its traditional appearance, and a little forethought and consultation with planning officers would have avoided this and cost no more. A “conservation area” is exactly that, and if you live in a conservation area you can’t paint your house purple without permission, otherwise what’s the point in having a conservation area? It’s to conserve the character of well-loved and admired buildings. In changing the branding of Windsor Bookshop to Griffin Books, the new owners have clearly made the effort to fit in with the building and environment, and do not deserve to have their effort neutralised by this abomination of bad taste.

  16. Christopher David says:

    So- it would be impossible to please everyone. Not the point anyway Mr Jeff.

  17. Therese B says:

    I would have thought encouragement for an independent trader who is providing a service to the town, employing local people AND paying rates etc to keep the Town Council going would have been a better idea! If you want to complain about something, be open and honest, not hide behind anonymity!

  18. Peter Church says:

    It brings some colour to the town centre, what with the lack of flowers on the roundabout!!

    Maybe the VoG council can order that certain councillors change their lurid hair colour as well 🙂

  19. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I wouldn’t describe it as my favourite colour but who cares? It’s all subjective, as mentioned above. the lady is running a business paying rates and providing employment.

    Since we’re talking about painted business premise fronts how about someone having a word with Mr Drabbest shop front in South Wales Summerin in the hope that he might be persuaded to use a more cheerful shade of battleship grey in the future.

  20. Andrew Worsley says:

    I wonder what clown decided against the colours of this shops frontage??? and what colours are allowed in a conservation area ??? If the Council or the Mayor did not specify any BANNED colours before the shop was painted , they need to reimburse the shop for the expense of the paint and painters , plus cash for the new paint etc as its their actions that will have /already have incurred the expense thus far. And to the person or persons who complained about the colour scheme can we have a full and extensive list of colours and colour combinations that ARE ALLOWED so as not to fall foul a second time of the Colour Code Police. To be totally honest I think the complaint is farcical. As for those who ‘reported’ the shop id say ‘get a life’ , but then I do not believe it was reported , that is just ‘Officialdom Speak’ such as ‘someone’ or ‘many people’ or ‘lots of people’ usually and almost entirely these ‘other’ people do not exist , they are just words that are used to supposedly add weight to an opinion or argument , and as I said in at least 98% of instances they do not exist.

  21. Funky Monkey says:

    We’re proud to have this lovely colourful shop front as our next door neighbour!

  22. jess says:

    Good! I think that purple colour is horrid & everyone I know thinks the same. The colour even puts me of going in the shop.

    • Penileaks says:

      Judging by the comments on here, you are in a minority (although perfectly entitled to your opinion of course), and can’t have many friends and those that you do have are also in the minority.
      Do you and ‘everyone I know’, have any colour preference ? Grey ? Black ? Some other drab colour ?

    • Christopher David says:

      Irrelevant to the point(s) in hand, but, its an opinion.

    • Anna says:

      Absolutely agree with you, Jess. Don’t know why everyone on here has suddenly become so right-on and live and let live. The colour is the least of it. The shop sign is beyond tacky. It might actually help business if that was changed – as it is at the moment, I can’t imagine there being anything tasteful and appealing in there.

      • Christopher David says:

        Missing the point.

      • Angharad says:


        I regularly buy things from Gifts @ no 9 and can honestly say there is nothing tacky in this shop. You are entitled to your opinion but there is no need for you to judge if you have never been there.. People do have feelings you know and your comment is quite frankly rude.


      • RetailGuru says:

        Anna, how about you stop ‘imagining’ how bad the shop is and actually go in the shop and make an informed judgement???? That way people might accept your view with a bit more credibility….

  23. AC says:

    I agree that VoG should have more to do with the taxes paid by shop owners and residents than investigating a complaint by one individual regarding the colour of the frontage at Gifts @ No9.
    It will be a great pity if this puts off potential shop owners in the future. Penarth needs a variety of shopping experiences to keep the town centre alive.

  24. Louise says:

    Successful independent traders like Cathy and Nicola should be encouraged and supported, not bullied. I’ve no doubt a lot of hard work and time goes into creating such unique shops/food outlets. Shame on you VOG!

  25. Eyes and Ears says:

    It looks like a similar shade to a shop on corner of Windsor Terrace.

  26. snoggerdog says:

    ukip purple, subtle brain washing going on, sorry too much time on my hands im retired! nono retired not retarded!

  27. Lindsay says:

    Local councils have an obligation to preserve the special interest of listed buildings. Irrespective of the merits or demerits of the current painting scheme, decorative changes require listed building consent. The onus is on the owner of the property to make such application.

    • Christopher David says:

      You really are a sycophantic jobsworth aren’t you “Lindsay”. Hand wringing toady of the cringe variety Luves Muckdonalds and it tasteful décor don’t ya. Never taken a risk or managed a budget. Pro Dole form filler. Good luck to all these small businesses and to hell with the (dis) taste police who completely miss the point.

  28. Catherine Evans says:

    I would like to thank you all for taking the time to write on this forum whether you like or do not like the colour of my shop.
    I can honestly say I was not aware of any restrictions to painting the shop front or that it was a Grade 2 listed building until I received the letter from the Vale of Glamorgan Planning Department which advised that without consent is a prosecutable offence. Had I realised there were restrictions I would have taken the appropriate steps necessary.
    Before the shop was painted I passed it by the Landlord and the person who painted the shop front for me was the former owner and I am sure he would have advised me if that was the case.
    I really enjoy my shops in Penarth. There is a strong Community spirit and we are fortunate to have a super selection of independent shops offering a variety of products which allows our Community to thrive and shop offering alternatives to online shopping.
    . I would also like to thank the many people who have popped into the shop to offer their support.
    We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as we can.
    With thanks
    Kind regards
    Cathy Evans

  29. Christopher David says:

    All the best with it Cathy Evans. Do what you have to do and to hell with the childish critics. You’ve got your publicity as well tidy 🙂

  30. KnockJohn says:

    Anybody who has lived in Penarth for any length of time will have seen the Fag (St Fagan’s) change colour, anything from mint green to cochineal cerise over the piece. the Vale should recognized use that although many old photographs are in black & white, the town has often had vibrant colours, particularly in the 60s & 70s.

  31. john mc says:

    ludicrous action by a useless local authority!
    they would be better occupied ensuring that their own propertiesare maintained well and painted appropriately – how on earth is dull dark green a suitable colour for a seafront? Remember, this is the same council that not only failed to even plant the tiny but central clock roundabout up this year, but then found capacity to literally dig up local residents’ attempts to bring some colour there.
    drab and spiteful vog!

  32. Mike says:

    While we’re on the subject of “conservation areas” why doesn’t the council look at some of the (far worse) monstrosities on the high street? for example – Kitchener & Thomas with that big “Euronics” sign, Bet Fred, Wasons ain’t great either. Big horrible plastic signage. Where are the “rules” about that?

  33. Visitor from Dinas Powys says:

    Mrs Evans,
    I have been in your shop and not a tack in sight…..but I did buy some unusual and well received presents for friends and family.

    I think Penarth should all be painted one colour to make it really boring, to dissuade people from coming to the town and enjoying themselves.

    Heaven forbid that a seaside town should have shops painted in pastel colours

    • Simon says:

      Tacky is a matter of opinion so what you may think is not tacky, others – such as me – may see as utterly tasteless. Do you think that a ‘Visitor from Dinas Powys’ buying trash at Barry Island thinks they are buying “tack”? No, they probably think they are the height of good taste. Everything is relative.

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