Anne Greagsby – one of the two Plaid Cymru candidates standing for election to St Augustine’s Ward in May’s Vale of Glamorgan Council elections – has claimed she was “pushed” on the shoulder by the owner of the Northcliff Lodge site – during a “site-visit” by members of the Vale Planning committee today.
This morning Ms Greagsby along with other members of Plaid Cymru, joined local residents living in the nearby Northcliff flats and the neighbouring Mariner’s Heights apartments, to lobby councillors as they arrived to tour the site.
This morning’s visit was in advance of tonight’s meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee at which the planning application to build 30 box-like apartments in three blocks on the steep escarpment will be decided.
Amongst the concerns expressed by local people are lack of parking provision, the loss of the natural tree cover which gives Penarth Headland its distinctive appearance and the impact on the remaining local wildlife.
Amongst the Vale planning committee members attending today’s site visit were chairman Cllr Fred Johnson – who is said to have told the demonstrators that the site-meeting was “private”, Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines), Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) , Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys) , Cllr Andrew Parker (Conservative Cowbridge) Cllr Howard Hamilton (Labour Illtyd) . Also in attendance were Marcus Goldsworthy, the Vale Council’s head of regeneration and planning and the project’s architect Chris Loyn who is president of Penarth Civic Society.
Ms Greagsby alleges that the ‘landowner’ – Mr Mark Evans – was “very aggressive and pushed me on my painful shoulder where I smashed it (have 11 screws in it)” .
Penarth Times reporter, Anthony Lewis, was also remonstrated-with and ordered to leave the site after attempting to take a photograph. Ms Greagsby said the landowner – Mr Evans – had told her he had called the police – but no officers had actually arrived by the time the demonstrators left
Ms Greagsby says “Many local residents have genuine concerns about this development and sent a petition to the council opposing it”. The scheme has also been recommended for refusal by Penarth Town Council.
Some local residents taking part in the demonstration today had no political allegiances at all, but were opposed to the effect the scheme would have on traffic, parking and not least on local wildlife.
Much of the local wildlife has already been decanted from the former forested area overlooking the Marina which was controversially felled by the Vale Labour administration last year. They oppose the potential loss of the remaining tree cover around Northcliffe Lodge, which is the only forested area left in the district.
Tonight’s meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Planning Committee – which will decide the matter – is due to begin at 18:00 at the Civic Offices in Barry.