The first of the new "shiny-pole" street-lamps has been installed alongside Balmoral Quays in Bridgeman Road

The first of the new “shiny-pole” street-lamps has been installed alongside Balmoral Quays in Bridgeman Road

A new type of “shiny” steel or aluminium street-light which has been installed in Bridgeman Road, Penarth has raised concerns about the replacement of existing traditional black cast-iron lamp standards in the Penarth Conservation Area .

The new bright-finish pole doesn't match the black pole diagonally opposite

The new bright-finish pole doesn’t match the black pole diagonally opposite or any of the others nearby

The new “shiny” pole – thought to be the first to be installed in the area by the Vale of Glamorgan Council – has been located on the hill leading from the Pier Pavilion and is adjacent to the Balmoral Quays apartment complex  – where it stands out from the rest of the existing lamp standards – all of which are black.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) who is a Vice-President of Penarth Civic Society, says he was “horrified” to see that the new Bridgeman Road streetlamp was not only of a different design to those nearby, but had been left with a “aluminum” or bright-steel finish and didn’t match the more traditional black cast-iron lamps which he says were “such a prominent and delightful feature across much of the area.”

Cllr Ernest says he can’t understand why the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Street-Lighting Department is not required to meet the same high standards which apply to homeowners  in the Conservation Area.

Another unique feature of the new pole is a notice set 8 feet above ground level advising anyone who is tall enough to read it that it's switched off at midnight.

Another unique feature of the new pole is a notice set 8 feet above ground level – advising anyone who is tall enough to read it, that it’s switched off at midnight.

He also wants to know “exactly what criteria, if any, the Vale has for its own operations in prime Conservation Areas such as Penarth – at the moment it looks as though Council Departments do just as they please, without any design guides for such sensitive works.”

Cllr Ernest understands there are also plans to dig up and remove a traditional black lamp standard in Church Road and replace it with another of the new “shiny bright” light-poles thereby “ruining the symmetry of this fine road with very substantial houses.”

The heritage of Penarth and its integral street patterns – Cllr Ernest says –  are features which bring thousands of visitors to Penarth every year. He says previous Vale administrations had worked hard to save the “integrity” of Penarth, something that meant then, and still means now, much to the people of Penarth, who were now being badly let down by these sub-standard street lighting replacements.


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  1. Richard says:

    Street lighting is so important to maintain the integrity of a conservation area but one of those ‘details’ Eastern Bloc type thinkers – i.e. why waste money on a cast iron lamp post when we could spend on an ugly new block of concrete on Penarth Head – overlook or dismiss as the frivolous whining of old Luddites.
    Very typical of the Vale. I bet it didn’t even occur to them.

  2. Mark says:

    I’d like to say that if anyone else did that, the Vale would come down hard on them but that’s not true, is it? Dormers, loft conversions… for a council charged with protecting a ‘conservation area’ it seems a bit of a free-for-all.

  3. David Moorcraft says:

    Cllr Anthony Ernest says: “………it looks as though Council Departments do just as they please…….”

    THANK YOU Cllr ! The whole Vale Council has been doing this for years ! Trees felled wholesale, 100 Tonne: £100+k “Observation Platform” (dysfunctional) imposed from Barry without asking Penarthians, ruining our Park, our own plants uprooted on the town roundabout, there’s a long list.
    The Vale Council can be fairly accused of being secretive ( how much money was spent on the new Cabinet Chamber so it could be televised as part of Open Government – and then never used !?) and afraid of Consultation because they would get the “Wrong Answers” to their Agendas. (See the St Paul’s “epistle” !)

    • LGould says:

      Hi Mr Moorcraft, could I possibly ask you a couple of questions about this topic over email? Thank you!

  4. Tom Fletcher says:

    Councillor Ernest is concerned with this fine road and substantial houses – does this include the site just up from here on the opposite side of the road. A fine gateway to the pier and been there so long.
    Tom Fletcher

  5. Jillabong says:

    As a homeowner with a property in the conservation area, I am acutely aware of the little I can do to maintain my home. It’s quite right to keep the Victorian/Edwardian features on my house and land, and I have no objection to the constraints applied in planning. However, monstrosities such as this lamp just get erected with the coservation area. Who authorized it? Who was it that thought that something like that would look good, and in keeping with the surroundings? Another case of one rule for us and another for them.

    • LGould says:

      Hello, I’m a student journalist and I was wondering if I could email you about living in the conservation area and the effect that this issue has had. If that’s alright please email me on or post your email below!

  6. Thank you Mr. Fletcher for your comment. I was specifically referring to Street Lighting on this occasion, but I agree with you wholeheartedly that the Vale Council has been very lax in dealing with the two properties in Bridgeman Road – I assume you mean these – and have myself reported unauthorised activities to the relevant department on numerous occasions. My understanding is that sales have taken place of late, and that improvements can be expected. As to the Street Lights, then public pressure is needed to ensure that appropriate types of columns are installed, not just ex-catalogue at lowest prices !

  7. maureenkellyowen says:

    I despair over the lack of adult consideration of what is acceptable in our “family silver” Conservation Area.
    The lack of appreciation of its real value to the Vale & the greater welsh scene leaves me
    wondering if we deserve it. The Conservation Area came as a result of the 1967 Civic Amenities
    Act But The Penarth Civic Society forned then is now a toothless dragon.
    I say this as a warrior of very many yeaqrs.

  8. Paul Everitt says:

    There poles behind with them, they all need replacing, they weren’t black originally.
    The seafront railings are white, and the lights on t’other side are white .
    Why the prejudice on color…….

  9. David Moorcraft says:

    Lovely to see posts from such as Cllr Ernest and esteemed “Warrior ” Mrs Kelly Owen. What really puzzles me is that you might expect our representatives / Councillors / “Cabinet Members” to have regard for the opinions and feelings of their Voters. But some Vale Councillors seem to almost wilfully delight in riding roughshod over any local preferences. Overdevelopment of flats behind the Custom House whatever Penarth Council think ? Disregard for Conservation Area ‘rules’ ? No Problem !
    But there are Elections coming up !!
    (Shame we can’t join with Cardiff , with which we are historically and economically so closely tied. ! )

  10. David Moorcraft. I note your comments with interest, but as I am not (currently) either a Vale Councillor or a “Cabinet Member”, I do not have any direct responsibility over Street Lighting provided by the Vale Council. Of course if next May were to change the position, then you would be perfectly entitled to your comment as then being relevant.
    Of course you can always move out of Penarth if you continue to be so unhappy, but in the meantime you could always use your undoubted ability to support the views I have put forward in the best interests of the wider Penarth community !

  11. Gethin says:

    Wow I used to find it funny how much fuss was made over trivial things in Penarth, but seeing a councillor saying that a mismatching colour scheme on street lighting made them “horrified” is too much… there really are much more important things in the world to be worrying about at the moment like the thousands of innocent people dying in civil wars in the middle east. Please can we put things in perspective. Maybe the council could divert some money from things which we don’t need to foreign aid programs? Or at the very least reserve language like “horrified” for the stuff that is truly horrifying

    • Jonny says:

      It’s easy to cite Aleppo as something which should concern people more than a lamp post just as I could find what is significant to you – losing at the rugby perhaps, or anything else which can be reduced to “meaningless” in the greater scheme of world horrors. You may think you’re terribly sophisticated and morally and intellectually superior to sneer at this situation but the fact is, a monstrosity has been erected in a conservation area, and that is important to some people, including those who have a respect for the past. Perhaps the Vale could increase your council tax to make donations to the Middle East. It’s one thing to be caring, quite another to be sanctimonious. Post your address and we’ll send some refugees round for your spare room.

      • Gethin says:

        The clause at the end of my message said that if you disagree with a lamppost being trivial then at least agree that it is less “horrifying” than war.

        I would gladly accept some refugees into my house if the law of the land allowed it. I have a friend in Freiburg who’s parents have taken in a refugee family and she says that the family is lovely.

        As far as this light goes I don’t think it’s ugly at all, but I understand that other people might and if they want to complain about it then obviously that’s fine, but just keep it in perspective.

    • LGould says:

      Hello, Would I be able to quote you in an article about this issue? I am a student journalist and the article might be posted on our website.

  12. Derek says:

    What law stops anyone taking in refugees?

  13. The whole point of my criticisms is whether or not one feels that in a carefully designated Conservation Area, such as that in Penarth, where househoders have very tight constraints on them which can be enforced legally if one does not comply (like it or not), the same “rules” should also apply to the principal Local Authority. Much of the CA has black lamp standards as part of an overall design scheme, and it has done Penarth well for over 20 years or more. If you think that idea is no longer worth retaining, then you might as well abandon the whole concept of “Conservation” and “Preservation”, and just have a free for all – say like a Milton Keynes or a Cwmbran. I know which I prefer !!

  14. RetailGuru says:

    Whilst I agree that the same rules should apply to the Authority as local householders, I actually think that the lamp post looks OK and not a monstrosity. Just my view…

Comments are closed.