DEMOLITION OF ‘MAGNIFICENT’ MANSION IS NOW A “DONE-DEAL” – PENARTH CLLRS ARE TOLD

The classic Penarth mansion "The Highlands" - occupies a commanding position at the "Gateway to Penarth"

The classic Penarth mansion “The Highlands” – occupies a commanding position at the “Gateway to Penarth”

Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has – yet again – been discussing the controversial proposal to demolish the classic shipowner’s mansion at the “Gateway to Penarth” which councillors have described as “magnificent” and “fantastic”.  

The Victorian mansion – “The Highlands” – with its unique circular verandah and conical turret –  commands the highest point of land in Cogan, overlooking the  main road into Penarth from Cardiff.

The Highlands stands in its own secluded grounds on the highest point of land in Cogan (Google Earth image)

The Highlands stands in its own secluded grounds on the highest point of land in Cogan (Google Earth image)

The mansion is now owned by a scion of the Berni Italian-restaurant dynasty – Mr Simon Berni – who wants to demolish The Highlands  to make way for a development of   9 new detached houses on the site – but other members of the Berni family, who regard the spectacular mansion as their family home, have strongly objected to the scheme .

[ The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee – which makes the final decision – has yet to consider the  scheme. The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Conservation Officer has proposed that “The Highlands” should NOT be demolished – and that the proposed new houses should be developed around it – but so far his idea has not been followed-up.]

A view from the garden showing one wing of The Highlands and the unique turret providing a panoramic view from the highest point of land in the Cogan area

A view from the garden showing one wing of The Highlands and the unique turret providing a panoramic view from the highest point of land in the Cogan area

When the demolition and development proposals had first came before Penarth Town Council’s planning committee in November last year, the Penarth councillors agreed to “make no objections to the demolition.

Since then the scheme has been slightly amended (in a fresh planning application to demolish the mansion and its associated coach house – and replace it with 9 new houses )- and it is this second application which came before Penarth Town Council’s planning committee this week.

Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) – who had opposed the original Highlands demolition application in the November 2016 meeting of the planning committee –  declared an interest and left the council chamber for the remainder of the discussion.

Town Clerk Emma Boylen

Town Clerk Emma Boylen

The Town Clerk Emma Boylen said there was no material change to the original scheme. A recommendation for  had been made following an ecological “bat survey” in the area. She said that Penarth Town Council had already “approved” the previous application whilst making reservations about overcrowding and about “trees already felled” on the site. [PDN Note: Councillors had in November expressed concern that several trees on the site had already been felled ]  The scheme also involves the “extension of the existing highway”  [i.e. the little known Old Barry Road. ]

Mayor of Penarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

Mayor of Penarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

The Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) who is deputy chair of the planning committee said the Penarth Town planning committee had already given its approval to the scheme [ in November 2016] and amended proposals weren’t “material”  .

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

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

The committee chairman Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) said he thought the “turning heads” now proposed for the Old Barry Road [the only road by which The Highlands can be reached]  would be “reducing the amount of space”.

He suspected however that the amended proposals had been drafted “in consultation with the Vale”. Cllr Thomas saidIt’s too much of a done-deed as far as we are concerned. We did reluctantly approve last time. I suggest it would be facile to change”.

He proposed that the Penarth Town Council planning committee should “broadly approve” the amended application and this was carried by mute assent.

 

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11 Responses to DEMOLITION OF ‘MAGNIFICENT’ MANSION IS NOW A “DONE-DEAL” – PENARTH CLLRS ARE TOLD

  1. Chris David says:

    PTC letting down the community once again. Let’s hope the VoG refuse it. They did come up trumps with Northcliffe. Why can’t this be turned into flats and just build a few less houses? Hmm guess.

    • Modernist says:

      It’s obviously not a line of business you are familiar with. Time for people to get real and desist from displaying their envy. Good luck to them – it all brings jobs and creates wealth so what is wrong with that?

      • Chris David says:

        Ha – don’t make assumptions especially amateur ones. I am both involved in property development and property ownership/rental in my own right. But I’m not a philistine and would burn a Rembrandt to give the frame to a chump painter. Very silly comment and I would guess from another scarredy cat and so anonymous wannabe.

  2. Mgg says:

    What frameworks are available to PTC to refuse permission ?

  3. Mark says:

    It seems the reality is that Penarth Town Council is gagging for ‘development’ just as much as the developers and though they might affect to represent ‘the views of the people’, they’re terrified of turning anything away. The result of that is a town rammed with ugly buildings and air thick with pollution. Total embarrassment.

  4. NickP says:

    Where’s Cadw? We need professional representation not comments from councillors…

    • George says:

      I believe “Cadw” – or whatever they are called now – will only list working class Welsh things like mines. They would see this as a symbol of imperialist wealth and be glad to see it smashed to pieces.

  5. Rachel Lyons says:

    I can’t believe Penarth town councillors would approve of this. I’ve been a town councillor for five years on the planning in stroud. There is no way councillors that I have worked with, would allow this to be demolished, Why can’t the house be used as a fundamental part of the development. Kevin mccloud and associates developed an old hospital in stroud for a community housing scheme. It’s very successful and incorporates modern community living with shared spaces and allotments. The councillors appear very short sighted.

  6. Rachel lyons says:

    See Kevin Mc clouds development with hasbro housing. A development of an old hospital. Into a community housing space

  7. Rachel lyons says:

    See this site won’t let me post my comments!

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