Penarth planning committee is supporting a change of signage as the former Meadowvakle Estate Agency becomes Park Funeral Directiors - but councillors have expressed reservations about highway safety

Penarth planning committee is supporting a change of signage as the former Meadowvale Estate Agency at 3 Andrews Buildings on Stanwell Road becomes Park Funeral Directors – but councillors have expressed reservations about highway safety so close to a zebra crossing.

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. 

Councillors examined a photographic impression of what the new Park Funeral Directors' signage would look like

Councillors examined a photographic impression of what the new Park Funeral Directors’ signage would look like

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

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

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) voted last night with Labour - against his own Conservative colleagues

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

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)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

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)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

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)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

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.

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  1. Sue Tasher says:

    I have witnessed near accidents at this location, where selfish people have stopped to let passengers get out of the car, it is in close proximity to the zebra crossing and hold up traffic on this very busy road. There is no rear entrance to the premises except for a very narrow lane, so Inwonder how and where would a hearse park ? Have the council given this any consideration. I also feel Penarth is desperate for more detail on the high street NOT service companies. There is already a funeral director in Penarth surly we don’t need another in such a prominent position do we?

  2. Martin Coffee says:

    I’m pleased to see our representatives taking the dangerous and illegal parking in Penarth seriously.

  3. Peter Church says:

    No wonder the elderly Penarth planning committee have reservations about a Funeral Parlour so close to their offices!!

  4. Why do we need a funeral home so close to the town and near a zebra crossing? The obvious place to have it is near the graveyard on Lavernock Road, not in the town centre where parked hearses will cause traffic nightmare and may cause death or injury.
    They maybe need to repaint the hatching near the crossing, well done Councillors for a pragmatic decision.

  5. 249ers says:

    Could PDN confirm that the funeral parlour will have Chapel of Rest and that funerals will leave from this building? I wonder if in fact this will be a ‘shop front’ for the funeral directors to meet with families to discuss arrangements. If this is the case then there will be no loading and unloading on or near the zebra crossing.

  6. johnm says:

    It has to be said that whilst miving into Penarth might be good for the Barry funeral directors, this is surely a case of the wrong business in the wrong place!
    The advert in the Barry Gem says there will be a private Chapel of Rest – so presumably there will be bodies.
    If this goes ahead on the basis that there
    are no bodies, and then there are, what then?

    Oh dear …

  7. Guido says:

    As reported in the article, I strongly suspect that this is just a ‘front or reception office’ for a funeral directors based elsewhere in which case as also reported, there is no change of use from the previous use. As such, there is no sustainable planning reason for the planners (or Highways) to become involved. In any event, I would have thought that the applicant company would be fully aware of the local parking restrictions and as such, would not choose this location for any other purpose other than a front office.

  8. Mgg says:

    I’m dead against it. If the council don’t bury this …well it’s their funeral. Parking outside doesn’t pall bearer thinking about . I’m here all week ,unfortunately. ,!

  9. Keith Ingram says:

    I read it as councillors had MADE reservations at the funeral directors. Very wise to plan ahead for the inevitable but I don’t think you need a reservation, there normally isnt a queue

  10. Martin Woodford says:

    Councillors are supposed to be there to obtain first hand information not speculation as it seems with this business. Almost every additional comment appears to be speculation and not fact. Fact is that the premises has been opened by a long standing resident of Penarth for the purpose of communication with those who wish to make first hand contact with his business. He has had a premises in Barry a good number of years, which has grown steadily and benefitted the public along with himself in being near a town centre with easy access for those in need. There will be no deceased at the premises and there is ample local parking for those that wish to drive to the premises without retorting to illegal parking as speculated by others in the above comments. It is also close to a bus stop and the train station to aid those making use of public transport. I speak up for the owner, Mr. Ball, as I recently had reason to make use of his company with two family funerals. Both he and his team were highly professional at a time of great sorrow and distress to our family. The people and townsfolk of Penarth will actually benefit greatly from his business, offering fair competition to those who are already firmly entrenched within the town. At a time when costs are rising sometimes far greater than wages, the funeral plans and current costs offered by this additional business are beneficial in the long run to those who may find the final cost of a current funeral unpallatable.

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