Members of Penarth Town Council’s planning committee have expressed reservations about an undertaker’s business being established on Stanwell Road, near the Clock Roundabout.
The committee chairman, Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell), said that a planning application had been made for a change of signage above the premises – from what had previously been the Meadowvale Estate Agency to a new branch of Park Funeral Directors.
Cllr Thomas said “I don’t think we have a problem with the signage” but he was “ a little bit concerned” – and thought that the planning committee should comment upon – the fact that the new parlour would be adjacent to the “zig-zags” of the pedestrian crossing. He asked how the funeral directors’ business would operate – as it would not be possible to put cones on the zebra-crossing zig-zags.
Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) sought confirmation that the application was not for “change of use” – and was told that it was not. [Funeral directors’ premises are in the same planning category as that of ordinary retail shops]
Cllr Thomas said he thought the committee should comment regarding its concern about the zig-zags – whilst approving the change of signage.
Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward), whilst acknowledging that it would not technically be a change of use, asked “Would there be coffins in there?” If so, funerals would generate more traffic than had been the case when the premises were those of an estate agent.
Cllr Thomas said “We need to question that” but went on to say he was proposing to approve the change of signage – adding a comment that “we do have concerns about parking – particularly in view of the fact that it is on the zig-zag – and access for funerals”
Cllr Turner said there would surely be public health regulations if the premises were going to be used for anything other than a shop front.
Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) said he was minded to pass the application but added “I think we’ve got other reservations but a lot of that is hypothetical” . He had seen it reported that the firm would not be keeping coffins on the premises overnight. They would be stored “somewhere else”. His understanding was that the premises would be “more like a shopfront where people could go for information”.
Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) proposed that the committee approve the application for a change of signage to the shop-front – but suggested that the committee should write separately to the Vale of Glamorgan Highways Department “to express our concern about the traffic-effect of having a funeral parlour there – and whether any action could – or should – be taken in respect of it ” .
Cllr Wilson disagreed – and said that the same point could be made with regard to all the other shops nearby.
The change of signage was agreed.