A planning application seeking approval to build modern extensions to either side (West and East) of Penarth’s historic Victorian coastguard tower on Tower Hill has now been “called in” to be considered by the full Vale of Glamorgan Planning committee
The plan was originally scheduled to be dealt-with by a Vale Council planning officer on a “delegated basis”, who would have made the final decision – but the application has now been “called in” by Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward).
Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has yet to discuss the matter and is not due to meet until January 19th – which is the deadline set for the receipt of observations by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
The tower is within the architecturally sensitive Penarth Conservation area.
Originally – in the 1830s – Penarth Coastguards occupied the Coastguard Cottages – on the cliff to near Northcliff Lodge from which they overlooked the entrance to Cardiff Docks and the Glamorgan Canal entrance .
However in 1864 the coastguards (then part of the Royal Navy) were re-located to what is now known as Tower Hill (between Plymouth Road and Marine Parade) and needed the eponymous Tower to give them sufficient elevation to scan the coastline and hoist signals.
The Tower and its associated dwellings have been a private home for many years. (Penarth Coastguard is now based on Cliff Walk)
In 2013, when an earlier plan for extensions to the Coastguard Tower had been submitted, the objections of Penarth Town Council’s Planning Committee were overridden by a Vale of Glamorgan planning officer (not the full planning committee) on a “delegated” basis – despite the fact that the building is designated as a “County Treasure”.
In 2013 Penarth councillors had expressed concern about the decision and felt the matter should have been referred to the full Vale Planning Committee. They sought a meeting with the Vale Council’s planning chief Marcus Goldsworthy to express their concerns but were then told that the planning approval – issued in 2013 – could not be rescinded.
In the event however, the 2013 proposal did not go ahead and now a revised proposal (as per drawing above) is under consideration and is now to be determined by the full Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee.
The full County Treasures list can be seen on http://tinyurl.com/huyx6yg .