This is what the new shops proposed for the Monty Smith garage site

This is what the new shops proposed for the Monty Smith garage site could look like

An artist’s impression has been released of what the new shops it’s proposed to build on the site of the old Monty Smith Garage at  Windsor Road, Penarth  could look like.

The image is in a brochure published by estate agents Cooke and Arkwright promoting the yet-to-be-authorised development scheme

The image shows two retail units side-by-side occupying the site with a forecourt adjoining Windsor Road  The  properties would be leased to retailers for 15 years and would be amongst the largest shops in Penarth .

A map shows the site in relation to the existing retailing area in Penarth

A map shows the site in relation to the existing retailing area in Penarth

The outline proposal is for a “single storey construction with rear access provided for deliveries and will be available for handover in a shell specification with services”.

Cooke and Arkwright say “the site can potentially be developed as one large retail unit or to provide two or three smaller units, subject to demand. Car parking spaces can be accommodated if required, at the front of the development.”

The Monty Smith Garage now has demolition notices fixed to it (Photo John Clark)

The Monty Smith Garage now has demolition notices fixed to it (Photo John Clark)

A planning application for the demolition of the existing Monty Smith Garage (the former Windsor Kinema) is currently under consideration  by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

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  1. Martin Coffee says:

    What the betting they end up as yet more restaurants or takeaways?

  2. red lol says:

    This would be a great improvement to such an eyesore, let’s hope the planing department don’t put the blocks on it

    • Simon says:

      How, in the name of all that is good and holy, would this “new look” – a plug ugly, workaday structure akin to a Lidl – be a “great improvement” to the stunning art deco building which is shrouded in the cladding of the old Monty Smith? I wouldn’t worry about the Vale blocking it – they’ll be over the moon in Barry, getting down the kind of lovely 20th Century building which would be treasured anywhere with a bit of class. As it is, Penarth can descend yet further into the Eastern Bloc morass with the kind of cheap, concrete functional cube that passes for “cutting edge” retail/catering space these days.

  3. Anon says:

    Yes let’s hope they are takeaways or restaurants will be a massive improvement to the site! Would people rather it’s left as it is???

  4. It is a pity that they seem uninterested in retaining some of the architecture of the Kinema. I seem to remember reading (in the last few years) that some of the original building is still in-situ beneath panel-boarding.

    • Tom says:

      You are right KnockJohn. I believe much of the original building remains, forming a core to which the cladding of the garage was attached. When the change of use occurred, the garage carried out the minimum work to “update” the building to their requirements (rather like the homeowners who once thought it was stylish to board up beautiful Victorian fireplaces in houses). There was no knocking down and rebuilding – it was literally a cover-up (far cheaper). People who talk of “eyesores” might be surprised to discover what lies beneath that ugly cladding but I don’t suppose the Kinema will ever get the chance to be a phoenix rising from the ashes. So keen to show itself “go-ahead” this town would happily have seen the Washington/the Pier etc go to ruin were it not for a few brave and relentless voices determined to save the town’s 20th Century architectural and social heritage. Unfortunately the majority couldn’t care a damn and can’t wait for yet another “eaterie” to fill their chops and make the place look like any other town.

    • Danny Oakentrode says:

      Perhaps you could find someone willing to pay to preserve these relics in a decrepit building? I’m sure they could charge visitors travelling to see such a fine example of twentieth century design.
      Head in the clouds, wishful thinking, I’m afraid. Knock it down, Knock John, and let’s see some pleasing twenty first century architecture with commercial potential – not this bomb site.

  5. nessbow says:

    I agree ‘red lol’ whether it’s retail or restaurants, it’s a huge improvement to the eyesore that’s currently there and another draw to bring people to our beautiful town.

    • Philip says:

      Beautiful town, my rear end. By the time you lot are finished, with your talk of ‘eyesores’ and getting in the caffs, there won’t be anything ‘beautiful’ left. There is a hidden and unusual art deco building waiting to dazzle visitors yet all people can talk about is knocking it down!

  6. Lyndsay Doyle says:

    It’s ridiculous to treat this as a wish list. The building will be re-developed as RETAIL units – so no car park, no. It’s a stupid place for a car park anyway.
    Those who would be interested in the newly developed site will seek to run successful businesses – it’s no good relocating if you’re going to lose money. The idea is to make money, and if that means there is even more demand for premises serving food, then that’s what it could be. But you don’t get to vote on it. Santa is not running the show, so all these ‘suggestions’ are plain daft!
    I’ll be glad to be rid of this ugly building – “20th century architecture” indeed! There are those who would treasure an empty, useless site above a modern, active business concern. I see no merit in keeping the building as it is. All of the ‘art deco’ features are hidden in an ugly exterior, so knock it down to make way for something better.
    I can’t imagine any potential occupants wanting to preserve the existing features.

    • John says:

      The fine example of 20th century architecture is hidden behind the present façade, not the abandoned fuel station itself…it would be wonderful (and visionary) to uncover and restore the old Kinema building and for the retail units to be housed in that…look at the Washington building in Penarth as an example, and how much of an asset that is to the town…it’s all about vision, not smashing down buildings and replacing them with bland ‘flatpack’ units which appears to be today’s strategy.

      • Anne Greagsby says:

        Quite right. I am sorry the civic society doesn’t take this view. As a Committee member I find they take the view of their unelected president, a modern brutalist architect rather than preservation of our history. We need more people who will fight for conservation, history and character of Penarth.

      • Truth Hurts says:

        More are needed to fight for the conservation, history and character of Penarth because most people are PLEBS only interested in the next coffee shop or car park.

      • Olga St. Hurd says:

        …And a few are snobs who love to tell others what they should think and do, while sat around in talking shops with other pompous and penniless popinjays.

      • Jeff says:

        Quite right, Olga, you have hit the nail on the head, albeit in a rather vulgar fashion, but then it is Penarth – when in Rome and all that. Aesthetics counts for nought here. Grasping consumption is key along with a belief wealth equates to superiority. With every step it’s clear. MONEY MONEY MONEY is the only thing allowed to talk in this town. Case closed!

  7. Lindsay, you are probably right – and it will go the way of Penarth Railway Station and be turned into a little box. https://www.flickr.com/photos/taffytank/8438074720

    • Lyndsay Doyle says:

      Yes, I’m sure you’ve never forgiven Beeching. Isn’t it about time you replaced that 1967 calendar on your wall?

  8. jmc says:

    hope waitrose and marksies are paying attention!
    really not the right place for a carpark – able people who choose to drive rather than walk or take the bus will not walk that distance either.sad, but true.

    • Fiona Whitfield says:

      Ha Ha as I have never owned a car but walk this route for work 4 times a week I thought “If I drove Id park nearer” or not bother .

  9. Frank Bird says:

    Car Park,
    Car Park
    Car Park

  10. Miss Zuby Majeed says:

    It’s great news this eyesore will become something new. Look forward to whatever it may be!

  11. Johnabutt says:

    Businesses like those shown in the drawing pay council business rates, which the Vale would much rather have than a defunct ruin lost in nostalgia in the past. Much better option than “heritage” of which there is quite enough already.

  12. bizzilizzi says:

    People need houses or flats!!!!
    Why not a development in keeping with the surroundings which could provide homes with good parking and a small garden.each.

    • Anon says:

      There’s going to be plenty of new houses before long in the cosmeston area! Over 500 of them. I doubt 2 more will make that much difference!

  13. Hugh Hunt says:

    This should be retail units on the ground floor and a large Multistorey car park above that for the town centre and also it could link to the station at Dingle Road for Park and ride.

    • Lyndsay Doyle says:

      Yes, block everyone’s light, and ignore all the occupied buildings in between the building and Dingle Road station, 200 yards away on the other side of the railway line.
      Have you ever been anywhere near this part of Penarth to see the actual layout?

  14. Martha says:

    Welcome to Penarth – the town of no vision which thinks it’s ‘moving with the times’.

  15. Doctor David says:

    What a load of drivel about ‘heritage’. It would cost a great deal more to restore this dilapidated building to its ‘original glory’ than to rebuild anew.
    Who is supposed to pay for that? Who will maintain it? Who will occupy it? It will rapidly be a drain on: whoever takes the risk of trying to run the type of business that befits such a restored building; us council taxpayers, supporting a white elephant.
    All these sentiments are unrealistic. No one has seen what remains since 1958, and no one will miss it. What would we do with it if it were to be restored? I suspect it would remain vacant until someone with a plan cleared the site.
    It’s all very well having such a dreamy outlook, but let some gas out and then you can come back down to earth.

    • Jeremy says:

      Talk about hot air. Good job people didn’t think like you when it came to restoring the pier and Washington buildings.

    • John says:

      What a depressing post Doctor David. Just demolish and replace with one of those dreary ‘flatpack’ building which are constructed in a fortnight. Great! Heritage should be celebrated and cherished, as is the case in many other countries where there is far greater affection for old buildings and history in general. With your ethos, we’ll be living in some awful, homogeneous place which would not look out of place in one of the Soviet bloc countries.

      • Doctor David says:

        John, you’d already posted this, and I’d already dismissed it. You have no answer for my questions.
        You can carry on with your delusions, of course. You and Jeremy want to wave a magic wand to restore this old, dilapidated wreck of a building without the vaguest notion of how this can be achieved, who would pay for it, and without knowing whether there is enough ‘heritage’ left under the cladding to make it worth the effort.
        Your case is built on a wild assumption, and daydreaming. There is also an artificial comparison with the Washington cinema and the pier pavilion, neither of which presented an environmental problem remotely like the recovery of the former filling station.
        Your argument is fatuous and unrealistic. If you want to restore it, why not ask consultant engineers to offer an estimate of the cost involved – you’ll have to pay for that, of course.
        I agree with Lyndsay Doyle about all these silly people creating a ‘wish list’ of ideas for the building. It is not up to you unless you buy the property, so show the money and see if you can do a deal. Words are cheap.

    • John says:

      My argument is built on daydreaming? Not really Doctor David. I’m simply opposed to the ‘knock it down’ philosophy which so many people – including you – seem to embrace. You don’t even want to investigate any initial idea to restore the old Kinema…just smash it down and replace with the usual dreary units which are now scattered across our urban areas. Maybe you’re in the business of erecting these ghastly, monstrosities which is why you’re so in favour of simply demolishing the building without any thought as to what lies underneath the present (and admittedly ugly) façade? And my argument regarding the Washington building is entirely relevant. Why have you dismissed it? It shows you can accommodate a modern business inside an old (and beautiful) building. It’s the same with the Jaflon restaurant, which was, of course, once the old art deco Post Office building. However, I’m sure the powers-that-be will be following your wishes with a complete demolition and replacement with some Halfords-style unit. Onwards and upwards!

  16. sjleworthy says:

    you guys would all make perfect town planners 🙂

  17. Frank Evans says:

    My money is on a branch of didly-di

  18. Jeremy says:

    You can see what kind of a place Penarth is turning into. It’s happening slowly but it’s there – the black and gold cocktail bars, the endless “restaurants”, lovely old buildings being knocked down, “architectural fusions” of old and new (in other words shocking monstrosities), people’s attitudes of “let’s just pull it down and build anything”. It won’t be long before it’s like any old chav town in southern England, full of people who’ve made a bit of money but have little else. Say what you like about the “old Penarth” but it had quality, albeit “faded”. Now it’s heading for the pits.

    • Peter Church says:

      Yes, its funny you should mention the “black and gold” cocktail bars! I often walk past them with friends and we wonder where their customers come from, we joke that there is a shuttle train service non stop from brash Essex to sleepy Penarth.

      As the words of Joni Mitchell says:

      Don’t it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      ‘Till it’s gone
      They paved paradise
      And put up a Chavy Bar!

  19. Danny Oakentrode says:

    Well, Doctor Dai, you can rest your case. As you said, words are cheap. All of these people bemoaning the loss of ‘old Penarth’, who would rather the old Windsor Kinema site remain empty and unused for the rest of their lives because there is NO MONEY to restore it. The daftness of their position is astonishing.
    From a business point of view, there would be no investment in a site that would cost millions to restore to its pre-1958 condition. It is not an aesthetic problem. It is an engineering problem. The building structure pre-dates any current legislation regarding materials such as asbestos. You can’t just brush it down and paint it like the Washington or the Pier Pavilion, neither of which were particularly difficult restoration problems.
    The challenge is not just removing some cladding though. There’s the fuel storage cells under the forecourt. You can’t cap them and hope they go away. As it is they leak into the surrounding ground – they have done so for years.
    So, without any money, and with no investors to support their aspirations, the ‘restorers’ want to turn back the years and produce the former Windsor Kinema, at enormous cost, and disregarding the fact that the owners are currently willing to invest a great deal of money in the much cheaper, and eminently more practical step of rebuilding from scratch, having cleared all the nasty mess that lies under the forecourt and throughout the building at present.
    Imagine the funds were available to restore the old building. Which business investor would then want to occupy the building, as it wouldn’t be suitable for many retailers? Having spent millions on restoration, what retailer would then come forward to use such a building? Not just a retailer, but would anyone want to use such a building, and would what they pay cover the millions spent on restoration?
    There is no practical merit in any project to restore the old building. It would cost so much money which could never be recouped that the owners would be crazy to consider it. It’s all very well having pipe dreams, but these pipes conceal toxic materials, which would, in time, prove hazardous unless they were removed, and that will cost a great deal of money.
    All these unrealistic reactionaries are keen to spend someone else’s money telling them what they want on this site. I would like to see the site used, and with something better than the current decaying mess, but it’s not my money at stake, so I can’t tell them how to proceed, and neither can anyone else.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t know why you’re banging on about the cost of sorting out the forecourt fuel storage and toxic leaking pipes as prohibitive to the restoration of the Kinema – the expense of ‘clearing away the nasty mess’ exists for anyone wanting to develop the site, whether or not they choose to destroy a beautiful old building, as does the removal of asbestos. With respect, the rejuvenation of the Washington or Pier Pavilion was certainly not a case of ‘just brushing it down and painting it’ and despite people like you dismissing those plans, calling for the pier to be pulled down etc, look at it now.
      Your Alan Sugar talk of a ‘business point of view’ will doubtless triumph over any attempt to be innovative and visionary while protecting the town’s heritage. It is possible to marry the old and new. Look at Bibendum in London’s Michelin House or, closer to home, Jaflon, in the old art deco Post Office.You don’t always have to bulldoze everything which is what you and all the others who talk of ‘eyesores’ are promoting. You say ‘words are cheap’ – what does that make yours?

      • Danny Oakentrode says:

        What a ridiculous load of babble. Can you point out where anyone here mentioned pulling the pier down? To suggest that anyone would support that is a primary school debating ploy, and a logical fallacy, called a ‘straw man’.
        You obviously crave influence to determine how others spend their money. You should sit on the Vale of Glamorgan Council and dictate your expensive demands.

      • Doctor David says:

        I don’t advocate ‘bulldozing everything’ at all. However, I don’t see any purpose in restoring a building at great expense when there is no practical purpose in doing so. A restored Windsor Kinema will not attract any high street retailers I know. At best, it could serve as an antiques centre or gallery. But the cost of restoration will far outweigh the revenue it could generate, so it will either stay unused, or will fall upon local council taxpayers to support some art facility, which we already have anyway.
        You continue to bleat on about preserving the architecture, but have no idea what that would cost, no idea of any future use, and no idea of business investment.
        All I will add is that the site belongs to owners who will make up their own minds what they do, and probably won’t be remotely interested in your opinion. They will want a return on their investment. If you don’t like that, make them a realistic offer for the site.

  20. AK says:

    I moved to Penarth over 30 years ago. The lawyer who was dealing with my house purchase asked if Penarth was a sleepy Victorian town, as that was the impression he got from communication from the Penarth lawyers (who presumably still wrote their replies with a quill pen).

    Some people would like it to remain (or revert) to a sleepy Victorian town.

    Time moves on, but much of the great architecture remains, although you do have to look upwards to see some of it.

    Commercial pressures often mean that no-one wants the old buildings – look at Cardiff’s magnificent Coal Exchange whose future is still uncertain. Many of the magnificent older buildings of Cardiff Bay remain empty – HSBC, Cory Buildings, Merchants’ House and many of the old banks because no-one wants them.

    I am all for the sympathetic preservation of old buildings, but you only need look at the carbuncle on the side of the Raisdale Hotel, or the ridiculous attempts to preserve the towers on old Beachcliffe to see what a bad bodge job looks like.

    Monty Smith’s,(or the Kinema) have had their time and it’s time they went while we have the chance.

    • Richard says:

      I’m beginning to think ‘sleepy’ is the most wonderful thing in the world. All the banging and crashing and knocking down and building and traffic jams and music blaring etc of so-called “modern life”. Where is the quiet and calm? Only when gone will they be precious. It’s got now that a country park can’t be a place to go and respectfully enjoy wildlife habitat – no, there have to be zip wires and canoes and mountain bikes and archery. What gaps are people trying to fill in their lives? Perhaps we could blast Pharrell Williams’ Happy from 24-hour megaphones across the town to ensure everyone stays AWAKE!

    • Simon says:

      I view it differently, AK, though I agree with much of what you’ve said. I don’t see this as a ‘chance’ to replace a historical building with a slab of Aldi concrete. I see it as a ‘chance’ to build on what the town has got which is special and different from the rest – and that is presumably what others have thought when they’ve transformed old buildings into pioneering successes. Cheap and easy it may be to destroy but it ain’t a ‘chance’.

  21. Nick says:

    Why do people move to a “sleepy town” and then try and change the very thing that makes the place what it is? If they want non-stop activity, why don’t they stay in the city? Let me guess – the schools! Coming here, moaning about not living in the past. **** off back to Cardiff then.

  22. Daffy Dinosaur says:

    Many correspondents will be unaware that beneath the art deco features there is a medieval banqueting hall, with oaken walls and a thatched roof. Blow the expense, let’s renovate this important part of our heritage and create a genuine replica shed at the gateway to the town. Maybe we could divert trains from Dingle Road next door to create a link to Cosmeston medieval motorcycle shooting range?
    Once a year, we could all gather in the hall to choose the King of Cogan, and then fire some flaming arrows at the Balmoral.

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