The bottom flats of the 7-storey Seabank block don't have balconies like the others.

The bottom flats of the 7-storey Seabank block don’t have balconies like the others.

Neighbours who live in the modernistic Seabank block on Penarth Esplanade are – apparently – not seeing eye to eye over a plan to install new windows in two adjacent apartments near the base of the building.

It’s proposed to enlarge the depth of the windows overlooking the sea in apartment numbers  11 and 12 of the Seabank development –  and fit them with glazed “Juliet balconies” .

The proposal is to install full height windows in two sea-facing apartments which don't already have their own balconies

The proposal is to install full height windows in two sea-facing apartments which don’t already have their own balconies

All the flats above them all have French windows with walk-out balconies – but the two apartments in the application at present only have windows with waist-level sills – and no balconies.

The Town Clerk of Penarth Emma Smith

The Town Clerk of Penarth Emma Smith

The Town Clerk Emma Smith said the new windows would be designed to match the existing windows of the other apartments .

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)  said he believed the Seabank block was about 50 years old but was a “landmark” building on the sea front. He  said he did not want to see anything installed which would “significantly alter the symmetry of the building” because it was what he described as “an important visual icon in Penarth“. With that proviso however he would accept the proposal.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said he sympathised with the owners of the two lower flats who did not have the balconies which most of the other flats in the development enjoyed. He said the proposed opening doors with Juliet balconies would add value to the flats. However, he had heard from the chairman of the association representing the other Seabank apartment owners that morning  –  saying that the rest of the residents were “extremely upset about the application” and they considered the modifications would be “out of keeping” .

  Cllr Williams said that as ward councillor he was passing on the comments he had received that most of the residents were “strongly against” the proposals

Cllr Gwyn Roberts interjected saying “It isn’t actually your ward Clive” – and asserted that the Seabank block is actually fell within his St Augustine’s Ward because as the dividing boundary between the two wards runs down the middle of Penarth Pier.  [Seabank is just to the North of that line]. 

To laughter, Cllr Williams ruefully observed he had canvassed the Seabank apartments for many years and suggested that, in the light of what had been said, perhaps Cllr Roberts could now take the phone calls from Seabank residents’ association.

The planning committee agreed to recommend supporting the planning application subject to the provisos noted by Cllr Roberts. The final decision will be taken by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.


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  1. whatsoccurin says:

    “Windowgate” is just a symptom of problems at Seabank-a once pleasant location for retired or semi-retired people who see it as their “home” is now like a bone being fought over by an increasing number of buy-to-let landlords, who do not live in the property and have no consideration for residents, when they are commissioning building work which causes noise and disruption to residents.-it will increase rental income-that is all what matters!! Residents, many elderly or infirm are seen as “bottom of the pile”-Seabank is in the “Penarth Conservation Area” which seems to be a conservation area in name only.I hope residents vote this proposal down.

    • newsnet says:

      The proposal was recommended for acceptance in last night’s planning committee meeting and will now be decided by a Vale of Glamorgan “delegated” planning officer.

  2. Paul says:

    Its clear to see the heights, some people will go to…

  3. Grapas14 says:

    Is this really such a big deal? I can’t see that the propsed alterations will cause much disruption at all in the grand scheme of things. Many areas of Penarth are putting up with constant development, within the immediate vicinity of my house there are currently three large double height side extensions being built, a huge dormer has just gone up overlooking my garden and the house across the road has gained planning permission to knock down some beautiful mature tress and replace that part of their garden with a brand new three bed dwelling! I live on an old street which has been a constant building site since we moved in a few years back. I don’t see why there should be such strong objection to a couple of full height windows, sounds very petty, it really won’t affect the aesthetics of the building.

    • whatsoccurin says:

      yes but these alterations are not occurring in your garden, they are in the “immediate vicinity” of your property. There is regular maintenance work at the pumping station and presently tree-cutting in Alexandra Park-that is part of life, but anyone moving into apartments where residents “have a share of the freehold” must assume that gives you some influence on what happens inside and outside the building-otherwise there is no point having the freehold.

  4. Grapas says:

    I accept your point whatsoccurin but I think maybe you have missed mine; of course freeholders should have a say on development to the building, the point I am trying to make is that the scale of the proposed alterations (and associated disruption) appears to be so minor that such strong objection comes across as petty. The argument that the proposed alterations would be “out of keeping” is a poor one, changing the two windows to full height would not be detrimental to (or out of keeping with) the buildings appearance. It comes across that the owners seeking permission for the new windows may have been targeted a little unfairly in the circumstances, just my opinion.

  5. Alan Elmer says:

    Knocking big holes in a 50 year old building made of reinforced concrete may have all sorts of implications for the stability of the building’s structure in the future, and who will meet the cost of any remedial works? Don’t be fooled, neither of the owners actually live in the building, one of the flats is up for sale and the other is owned by a company. One of the applicants used to work for planning, or so I hear. Is there an issue over friends in high places?

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