A new part of the Taylor Wimpey Housing Development in Sully is located West of Swanbridge Road

A new part of the proposed Taylor Wimpey Housing Development in Sully is located West of Swanbridge Road and is currently an open field which grows crops.

Labour councillors on Penarth Town Council’s planning committee acted last night to prevent any discussion of proposals by developers Taylor Wimpey to add an additional 150 homes to the hundreds of new houses already planned for Penarth’s neighbouring village of Sully.

The matter highlighted tensions between those Penarth Labour councillors who occupy salaried seats on the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee and two of the Conservative members of Penarth Council.

The Vale Council's Local Development Plan

The Vale Council’s Local Development Plan

The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council’s controversial draft Local Development Plan is attempting to designate locations for 10,000 new homes across the Vale  – hundreds of which will be in or around the village of Sully.

The plans in the LDP have already triggered protests in Sully and  raised fears of massive commuter traffic jams through Penarth in years to come. The number of additional homes will – it’s feared  – bring unacceptable  pressures on local roads, schools and medical facilities. 

Taylor Wimpey has now submitted a “pre-application” for a new residential development on “land west of Swanbridge Road, Sully” – and the item was duly included in the agenda for discussion at last night’s meeting of Penarth Council Planning Committee.

Protestors in May this year at the proposed site of the 150 additional homes which are now the subject of a pre-planning "consultation" by Taylor Wimpey

Protestors in May this year at the proposed site of the 150 additional homes which are now the subject of a pre-planning “consultation” by Taylor Wimpey. Discussion of this new scheme was effectively smothered in last night’s meeting of Penarth Town Council’s planning committee

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) moved a motion not to discuss the scheme

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) moved a motion not to discuss the scheme

As soon as the scheme came up for consideration on the Penarth Town Council planning committee agenda last night, Cllr Rhiannon Birch ( Labour Cornerswell)  (who is also a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Planning Committee)  immediately tabled a motion to effectively prevent any discussion of the matter.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) chairman of Penarth planning committee

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) chairman of Penarth planning committee

At the outset, the chairman of the Penarth Council planning committee  Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) – who is not a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Planning Committee –  introduced the item.

He said the committee had what he called “a pre-planning application notification” for a site in Sully.  Cllr Thomas said “I realise that this is  outside the settlement of Penarth.  We’ve been asked whether we want to make comments. It’s up to us.

Immediately Cllr Birch moved to suggest that Penarth Council should not comment on the scheme but should respond by saying “We would like other opportunities to  comment on other applications” .

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Before anyone else could get a word in edgewise, Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)  – who like Cllr Birch is also a salaried member of the Vale of Glamorgan Planning Committee – seconded Cllr Birch’s motion to prevent further discussion.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said “I take a slightly different view to our colleagues because this is a major development on the land west of Swanbridge Road. It will involve more than 300 new dwellings. The impact on Penarth, particularly on Lower Penarth , Redlands Road and  the side roads will be considerable.   ”

Cllr Ernest said that under the previous local development plan [ i.e. the LDP of the former Conservative administration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council]  the agricultural land involved would only have been a “reserve site” – only to be used when all other land had been used. He said this land had now “come forward” and what he called “the new administration of the Vale of Glamorgan Council have been minded to grant planning consent on it”  .

Cllr Ernest said that most of the eventual residents this housing development would want to come to Penarth for their shopping whilst those who were working would be “heading in the general direction of Cardiff and therefore coming through Penarth either through Redlands Road or routes through the town” .

Cllr Ernest said “I don’t agree with my colleagues but I understand why they are trying to say there is no objection to this ; their administration has put this through planning”

This comment provoked outrage and furious protests from the Labour councillors. Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) intervened to say  “That is imputing my motives. I do not want to comment on it because it’s outside our boundary  and I don’t think it’s our right to do so. To suggest – as Cllr Ernest has – that I have other motives for not wishing to discuss it, is disgraceful.”

Cllr Roberts said Cllr Ernest was wrong to call the Labour administration a “new administration” . It had been “there for 4 years”.  

Cllr Roberts also claimed that Cllr Ernest was also wrong about traffic coming through Penarth. He said that “the standard travel-to-work route from Sully is  actually recognised as being via Port Road from Barry not through Penarth”. Cllr Roberts said  “We’ve just had a motion that we shouldn’t discuss it. I seconded that and I now move”.

Cllr Ernest intervened to respond, but was halted by the chairman Cllr Neil Thomas. He told Cllr Ernest “You need to be speaking to that motion or against that motion …and not raising canards”  .

Cllr Ernest said “The issue is that we have been asked if we wish to be consulted. I am saying we do. It is  my understanding is that planning permission has been granted for this land ….”.

Cllr Thomas intervened from the chair to say this was not true either. “It is part of the LDP. They are making a pre application. The application has not actually been made for this site. This is a pre-application consultation”.

Cllr Ernest withdrew his comment but then went on to observe that ” I simply say there will be a major impact on Penarth… “. Cllr Ernest’s remarks was lost in the hubbub as Cllr Roberts and Labour members intervened yet again.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) was stopped in this tracks.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) was stopped in his tracks.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said “There are a couple of points here.  This is outside our wards – but it will have an impact on our wards” . Cllr Williams said local people were worrying about traffic, about schools and their third concern was the local issue of Whitcliffe Drive . He wanted to “clear some of these up”.

Cllr Williams was interrupted by the chairman – Cllr Thomas – who told him that he could only speak on the motion, or to place a “variation on the motion” or an amendment – but that did not seem to be what Cllr Williams was doing.

Cllr Roberts chimed in again – alleging that Cllr Williams was “ignoring the motion”.

Cllr Williams said he would document his views in writing . He said “I would have liked to  put my views here in the council . If I am not allowed to do that  then I will write in separately – but it would have been nice for you to understand some of the implications of this  Mr Chairman “.

Cllr Thomas said ” I do understand the implications of it”. 

Cllr Williams claimed  the site in question was “Welsh Office owned” land – worth more than “£30 million” ...but his remarks were again halted by the chairman, Cllr Thomas, who said the point was “irrelevant”.  Cllr Williams said he would include it in his written comments.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell), who is also a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee, asked for Cllr Birch’s motion (not to discuss the development) to be put to the table without further delay.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) voted last night with Labour - against his own Conservative colleagues

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) voted last night with Labour and against his own Conservative colleagues

An unrecorded vote by show of hands was then taken:-

Voting against the motion were Cllr Anthony Ernest and Cllr Clive Williams.

Voting for the motion were Cllr  Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines), Cllr  Mark Wilson, Cllr Rhiannon Birch, Cllr Gwyn Roberts, Cllr Neil Thomas and  Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward).

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustine’s) and Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) abstained.

Today Cllr Turner said last night’s planning committee meeting – at which he had not spoken – had not been a very good meeting ” .

Asked to confirm that he had voted with the controlling Labour Party on Cllr Birch’s motion and against his own Conservative Party colleagues, Cllr Turner said that he had “nothing to say”.


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  1. Council Represent Your Electorates Views! says:

    Are there statistics that prove the standard travel route is via Port Road in Barry? I would have really thought the majority of Sully residents travel through Dinas or Penarth. For this development to be even considered reasonable we need road upgrades (Dinas bypass) and a railway that runs to Sully!

  2. Fishhenge says:

    Representing us? Do any of them have any professional planning qualifications?

  3. Paul says:

    Protest by parking your car on the road all the way from sully to the merrie harrier. Show how slowly the traffic will move along these roads which were never built to cope with this level of traffic. These type of developments will ruin Penarth. No provision for schools, parking, roads, GP surgery, nothing – but Lis Burnett says they will add an alloment. Time to consign these councillors to the rubbish top where they belong and bring in some new faces. These idiots have said the 600 new house will add 13 cars to the rush hour, what world do they live in? These councillors don’t even want to discuss it, why? If the town council won’t stand up for us then we must stand up for ourselves, do it now before there is no turning back and Penarth becomes a complete mess.

    • Paul says:

      By the way Councillor Roberts, whats disgraceful is refusing to discuss the topic when you claim twin salaries for two conflicting jobs. Moonlighting and conflicts of interest spring to mind – you are a disgrace. Resign and take theothers who don’t want to discuss the topic with you. Remember these names well when you are stuck in a traffic jam trying to go to work once this development is in place
      Cllr Gwyn Roberts
      Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines),
      Cllr Mark Wilson,
      Cllr Rhiannon Birch
      Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines),
      Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward).

    • Penileaks says:

      ‘…..but Lis Burnett says they will add an allotment ‘
      We will all need one, ‘cos to get to the shops via the roads will become almost impossible and this will be the only way to eat !
      Mind you, it would be a lot healthier for us all 🙂

  4. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I would normally post a comprehensive rebuttal in response to points raised in this report.

    However there are so many inaccuracies and complete misunderstandings attributed to quotes made by so many councillors present that even I am staggered by their seemingly total and utter ignorance of the situations even partly discussed.

    I think that Penarth residents should be seriously concerned that their town council has started to resemble a less effective version of the Vicar of Dibley parish council, particularly concerning Vale cabinet member Gwyn Roberts coming out with the ludicrous statement in regards to Sully traffic and Port road.

    Heaven help us all with this bunch anywhere near the handles of power.

  5. Richard says:

    These Councillors once again are showing that they are not obviously interested in the views of their residents and are only interested in political position and maintaining their jobs/positions.

  6. Martin Coffee says:

    Surely these dual hatted councillors were conflicted (is that the formal word?) and should have removed themselves from the meeting during the discussion on the motion to terminate discussion?

  7. David Moorcraft says:

    It does seem that we need a full open discussion / debate about very large housing projects in Sully and near Cosmeston.
    Anyone who pretends that this will not have a large impact on local communities and the existing inadequate infrastructure (schools , doctors surgeries, ROAD access etc) is not living in the real world, (Ms Liz Burnett !)
    It’s VERY hard being a left-of-centre Labour supporter these days !

    • Martin Coffee says:

      To be honest I find it impossible to support any political person these days. They seem to put themselves or their party above everything else. As fas as I’m concerned they should be representing their constituents. This is The Vale versus Penarth town and in this case I feel they are refusing to represent their Penarth constituents and not doing their job properly.

  8. Nat says:

    How will those living in the homes accessed via Brockhill Rise be able to turn right onto Lavernock Road with all the extra vehicles which will be on the road if these proposed developments are built?

    It is dangerous enough now, making the turn, as the junction is situated between two bends on Lavernock road. I fear that these plans are literally an accident waiting to happen.

  9. Anne Greagsby says:

    It is described as being in the Penarth service area. People are expected to use facilities in Penarth. These labour councillors are a disgrace to Penarth.

  10. Paul says:

    Its clear, that the basic premise is:
    “They will build it, and they will come”. The impact it will cause in the area to the local residents, is of no interest to the councilors.
    They are the “ones in charge”, and they will drive it thro.
    They have spoken, as theres a lot of money and political prestige at stake…….

  11. Michael Garland says:

    It is predicted that the Cosmeston development could push1400 daily car journeys through Penarth, likewise the Sully development too. It is astonishing that Cllr Roberts believes that people in Sully will travel via Port Road to access Cardiff rather than take the shorter and more direct route to the City. Unfortunately the Labour Councillors of Penarth have to support their Labour Colleagues in the Vale Council who approved the Planning Application and the LDP.

  12. Sick of the same old politicians says:

    I seem to remember many years ago there was a group of individuals who stood as a group against the Tory and Socialist groups for the good of the town. Is there any chance we could do this again? And this is coming from a fully paid up member of one of those parties.

    • Sarah says:

      It will only happen if enough committed people are prepared to put in the work to make it happen. I’d definitely be interested in meeting up with other people who would like to see genuine change. Outcomes are only achieved where there is very focused action accompanied by drive and energy. I think it could be successful if there were a number of people involved. If you want to meet up, get in touch.

      • Sick of the same old politicians says:

        Totally agree with you Sarah. Unfortunately my current employment makes this difficult. I have to be seen as impartial! However if a group can be formed to stand up for our town I will help out delivering leaflets etc.

      • Penileaks says:

        I for one would welcome a Penarth Party, made up of local people with Penarth interests at stake and devoid of party politics and having decisions made for them by others in a party at Barry, Cardiff Bay, or Westminster and having to toe the party line to keep their positions.
        Wasn’t it the Penarth Independent Party that started up some years back ? For a while, it seemed to offer some hope of representation for Penarth without any party political shenanigans in the background. Anyone know why it finally folded ? Wasn’t Richard Snell one of the founders of this ? Maybe he or others involved at the time could enlighten us as to why it finally disappeared ?
        Sadly I am in the same position as ‘Sick of the same old politicians’ and unable to take a fully active role, as I work away from home for long periods of a year, but I would happily help in any way that I could.

  13. Clr. Rosemary Cook says:

    I would like to state that Councillor Tracy Alexander and myself abstained – I don’t doubt there will be the usual variety of conclusions drawn.

    • Martin Coffee says:

      In this instance I regard your abstention as supporting the motion.

    • Won’t the extra housing help tackle the uk housing crisis??!!! 🙂 I’ll support all the proposals even if all the necessary extra building of schools + bypasses is required to make it work.

      What’s wrong with a much bigger Penarth?? @Carolx98

      • Paul says:

        Carol, there are no plans for anything. just more houses with more people putting pressure of existing services and more cars on the roads. The housing crisis in the UK won’t be solved by putting 600 houses in Penarth, it will simply allow developers, etc to make money from Cardiff being successful and Penarth being close to it and currently rated as a good place to live. If you think poor people will be able to afford these houses then I think you should take a look around other new developments and see the prices being asked. Thoughtless planning like this creates nothing but trouble.

  14. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I should correct my mistake in my post that Gwyn Roberts is a cabinet member, he isn’t of course.

  15. Frank Evans says:

    Labour is a dishonest corrupt machine. It only acts in its own interest. When will the volk wake up and see them for what they really are.

    • RetailGuru says:

      The truth of the matter is, Frank, that all of the political parties are corrupt to differing degrees. Always have been, always will be. Very, very sad.

  16. Evans says:

    The Vale Planning Committee are Marcus Goldsworthy’s puppets, they are a complete waste of time and money. I was shocked sitting through a recent Planning Committee meeting it was a farce.

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