A classic mansion which Penarth councillors called “magnificent” and “fantastic” – but nevertheless agreed could be demolished – may yet be saved.
“The Highlands” on Old Barry Road is probably the most spectacular ‘arts and crafts-style’ ex-ship-owner’s mansion still standing in Penarth – but local councillors agreed this month it could be torn down and the site used to build nine new houses. See [http://tinyurl.com/hyku8xf ] .
The mansion occupies a commanding position at the “Gateway to Penarth” – near Baron’s Court [itself a former Elizabethan mansion] – but until recently the impressive building has been masked from public view by large oak trees which have recently been felled.
Conservationists argue that if the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Council are serious about improving the look of the so-called “Gateway to Penarth” (the main route into the town) the very last thing the two Labour councils should be doing is permitting the destruction of a wonderful architectural gem in such a prominent position.
However, even though the mansion was not on the list of the Vale’s “County Treasures” and does not actually stand within the Penarth Conservation Area, it now looks as though the independently-operating Conservation Team of the Vale Council has stepped into the row.
Only two Penarth councillors had opposed the demolition of “The Highlands” in the last Penarth Town Council planning committee meeting . One of those was Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) who told the committee that she had spoken to a conservation officer who had recommended that the main house – Highlands – be retained and the development built around it .
PDN now understands that today an independent Vale Council conservation officer is to carry out an on-site appraisal of the building even though the Labour-run Vale Council (which wants to find sites for 10,000 new houses) had originally excluded its own conservation team from the list of people it was consulting on the development.