Ashdene Manor and Normandy are key parts of the sea front architecture of Penarth

Ashdene Manor and Normandy are key parts of the sea front architecture of Penarth

The Vale of Glamorgan Council ‘s planning officers are recommending that – despite objections from the next-door neighbours, criticism of the accuracy of the plans and the objections of Penarth Town Council – approval should be given to redevelop the historic Ashdene Manor in Bridgeman Road, Penarth as 9 apartments – 3 of which would be “social housing”.

The planning officers’ recommendations will now go before the full Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee for a final decision

An impression of the new desgn for the redevelopment of Ashdene Manor - as viewed from Bridgeman Road. (Courtesy of John Wotton Architects) , Penarth

An impression of the new design for the redevelopment of Ashdene Manor – as viewed from Bridgeman Road. (Courtesy of John Wotton Architects) , Penarth

There would be 9 new apartments in the proposed scheme – 3 in the existing mansion and 6 in wings to be added as extensions on either side of the original building .

The planning officers recommend that approval be given to the planning application –subject to a number of conditions – including one unusual stipulation that 3 of the proposed apartments are “built and thereafter maintained as affordable housing units in perpetuity, of which 2 would be social rented properties and 1 would be intermediate properties”

Ashdene Manor seen from Bridgeman Road

Ashdene Manor seen from Bridgeman Road

The officers report also recommends the Vale Council demands a £15,486  payment for “off-site affordable housing

In addition the planning officers also recommend the the Vale Planning committee requires a “contribution of £22,968 to provide or enhance public open space in the vicinity of the site” (i.e. Windsor Gardens) .

A Victorian-style extension (left) at T Llwyd (No 11 Bridgeman Road) did not appear on the redevelopment plans for Ashdene Manor (right)

A Victorian-style extension (left) at Ty Llwyd (No 11 Bridgeman Road) did not appear on the re-development plans for Ashdene Manor (right)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Independent Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Independent Plymouth Ward) had formally queried the accuracy of the Ashdene Manor plans – pointing out that they did not take account of an extension to  the neighbouring property Ty Llwyd .

He “called in”  the application for consideration by the full Vale planning committee .

The planning officers now  recommend that before work starts on the proposed new southerly wing to Ashdene Manor, details of the foundation design adjacent to the neighbouring property (Ty Llwyd) must be agreed in writing by the council.

A landscaping scheme and details of drainage must also to be agreed with the council prior to work starting .

Ashdene Manor seen from the North East

Ashdene Manor in happier days before being boarded up – viewed from the North East

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee is due to meet to consider the application on Thursday March 2nd .

Ashdene Manor was originally built by Mr J.P. Jones, who was the contractor for many of the buildings erected by the Victorian entrepreneur Solomon Andrews in Cardiff and Penarth.

The house later became the home of  David Hannah JP – a former colliery apprentice, born in 1855, who rose to become a board director of a number of South Wales colliery companies. He was chairman of the Welsh Navigation Steam Coal Company and President of the South Wales Institute of Engineers.


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  1. Chris David says:

    And who owns these magnificent houses now? Have these houses been subjects of neglect or vandalism? Have to laugh though- social hosing order! Is that irony, stupidity or interference?

  2. Harry says:

    More fool any developer who takes that on. Who’s going to pay a good whack for an ‘apartment’ to be neighbours with Little Britain?

  3. mark says:

    Who the heck is going to buy one of those apartments if they’re going to be next to “affordable housing.”

  4. Ron Foxton says:

    Edinburgh Woollen Mills. EWM. Phillip Day. However they want to call themselves. Both buildings have been left to rot in the hope they’ll need demolishing before sympathetic restoration. The planners falling for it every time…

  5. How Awful says:

    The two ‘social rented properties IN PERPETUITY’ is bad enough but that ‘intermediate’ property is the real killer. I bet the council thinks it’s being really clever.

    • Modernist says:

      If I was a first time buyer, I doubt that I would be looking at Bridgeman Road as my first step on the property ladder. I think the Committee must insist that this Condition is removed from any approval. It is ridiculous.

  6. What a crass Planning Recommendation to Committee ! Not only permitting an appalling enlargement of this once-fine property, but also imposing permanent Planning Conditions which are completely alien to the surrounds, and take no account of local rents for so-called Social Housing. I feel very sorry for all the neighbours who will have to live with this politically engineered solution to what should be a well considered Planning Application in the Conservation Area. Vale Councillors have been very weak over taking enforcement actions, and the whole situation has dragged on far too long, leading to an absolute disaster for this otherwise outstanding area of Penarth.

    • Chris David says:

      Indeed Cllr Earnest. You’ve found a new lease of free thinking council life as an independent. Cathartic isn’t it 🙂

    • Modernist says:

      Dear Anthony,
      Is the committee able to approve the scheme but request that the Social Housing condition be removed? I totally agree that Social Housing on Bridgeman Road is social engineering at its worst and totally alien to the character of the Conservation Area. What are the Officers thinking of??!!

      • Dear Modernist,

        The Recommendation to tomorrow’s Planning Committee is just that – a Recommendation. The Committee Members (Cllrs.) can take a completely opposite view if they want to, and can throw out any suggestions re Social Houing. They can also point blank REFUSE the application, and then the process starts over once more.

      • Ron says:

        Sorry, how is social housing alien to a conservation area?

      • Chris David says:

        You don’t know Ron! Well for starters how are you going to build down to as spec that will be affordable? Oh and at the same time make affordable units in keeping with the area given all the constraints?

  7. Jeff says:

    How appalling. The Labour lot must love this, rubbing their hands thinking they’re bringing down the old wealth. It’s pathetic really.

  8. Arthur King says:

    Councillor ‘for Penarth’. Are any others needed!

  9. cllr clive williams MBE says:

    I have monitored this development for a long time, and although I was pleased when the developer took on this project, as the previous owner had let it go into a very dilapidated state
    I halted this application which was recommended for approval by the Vale planning at last months
    Vale planning meeting as the submitted drawings were incorrect by not showing the very large extension to the building next door. I stated we could not pass this on incorrect drawings. I asked for a site visit which is scheduled for Thursday. This has now been added.
    In the 34 years I have been a Plymouth ward Vale councillor I have never heard of a more absurd ( benefit by the Vale planning department) which is totally ludicrous. I thank my fellow councillors on the Town Council for now joining the blog.
    I contacted the owner earlier this afternoon, and pointed out there was planning approved for 7 flats with no encumbrances, and was totally accepted by the local neighbours and residents.
    This new application for nine flats was to obtain more profit, but he may be stuck with flats he could not sell for all the reasons stated above. I certainly would not buy a property, which would be hard to sell by my children after my day.
    I asked the owner / developer to calculate the profit on the 7 flats with no strings, against 9 flats with these astonishing conditions. He said he would consider this.
    If and when this is granted on Thursday evening I pointed out he will have two “cheques” approvals and he should think seriously which he presents to the bank.
    My interest as the Vale ward Councillor, is to obtain rates for the residents of Penarth and to improve this present eyesore for every one concerned.
    Visitors to Penarth have commented to me over the years on the number of properties left in this state, and worse.
    I have stated similar opinions previously to this owner, and others, – not since I have become an Independent, now, not in next May’s election I am the only Independent at this point in time and I do not want my decision to go Independent, which has caused me so many losses, to be confused with others who may be standing as Independents in May’s election.

    • Modernist says:

      I have looked online at the Vale website and notice that a new drawing has been submitted. The new drawing shows the extension at Ty Llwyd but apparently there is no planning record of that extension ever having been approved. I was wondering if you know what strength an objection has from the owner of an illegal structure…? Would be interesting to find out.
      Also, are the Councillors able to approve the scheme but request that the social housing condition be removed? Social housing, whilst admirable as a concept, is not really part of the character of this location in the Penarth conservation area.
      Many thanks Clive.

  10. Chris David says:

    Cllr Williams I personally don’t understand all of your post- especially the last paragraph? But I do get the 9 against 7 flats question. The answer is 7 unencumbered or nothing. Restricting small developers (already under the cosh with the 3% extra stamp duty unlike the big developers with friends) in this way is ludicrous and one more reason we have to break the stranglehold mad lout Labour has in the Vale (and Wales) The more independents the better.

    • Modernist says:

      I do believe that the current policy for Social Housing was not in place when the 7 apartment scheme was submitted. Now they want 40% social housing on ANY scheme no matter how large or small. The previous application was not determined (being withdrawn by the previous owners I understand) so does not legally exist. To apply for 7 again would still now have the 40% affordable requirement. Nothing is considered on its merits but purely against policy. So….social housing on millionaire’s row it is !!

      • Jeff says:

        40 per cent is so try-hard. This Labour lot, with their detached ‘ouses and drives. Pull up’t ladder.

  11. bizzilizzi says:

    Are social housing occupants non people. Do they not have the same needs,wishes and desires as the occupants of this area in Penarth. I have lived near to this property and previously, next door to unemployed people who may well have been candidates for social housing. I understand that there could be problems but are we a caring society or not. Are there areas to be designated “us” and “them”

    • Gareth says:

      It’s all very well being live and let live but I think the point here is that people who have paid thousands upon thousands of their hard-earned cash for an ‘apartment’ may view their home in a different light to those who get it for nothing, and – in the case of the ‘intermediate’ ‘apartment’ – are just passing through. My view is it’s the Vale being spiteful. They think they’re being clever sticking one up at the ‘nobs’.

  12. Tony Harris says:

    I agree with Clive and the proposed design is hideous. Who would want to live in a house like this? Independence Day cometh.

  13. Mark says:

    Well, jolly good luck to the developers when they try to sell these. I sure as heck wouldn’t buy anywhere – sea view or not – for 50p or 500 grand to be next to an ‘intermediate’ dwelling.

  14. Arthur King says:

    Amazed at the prejudice being displayed at ‘social’ housing, particularly from those seeking office.

    • Eddie says:

      Someone’s got to stick up for the people who pay taxes.

      • 92 and a social butterfly says:

        Given the cost of housing today, I believe teachers and nurses qualify for social housing in some areas, they pay taxes.

  15. cllr clive williams MBE says:

    You are right Eddie, I have spent many hours and visits ref Ashdene Manor, over a six month period, and was the only one to notice the submitted drawings were incorrect due to the very large extention not being shown. My record shows I have given 34 years of my life sticking up for tax payers, as Vale and Town councillor for Plymouth ward, because that makes me who I am.
    I feel as committed today as I did when I was first elected, that is why I am standing as an Independent next May, to be able to continue to serve ALL the residents, as I do not think there should be politics at this local level.

    • Arthur King says:

      You managed politics for 34 years and wanted to continue as a Conservative!

  16. The owners of this once fine property have every right to submit an application for development and enlargement. Whether that fits the requirements of the Penarth Conservation Area (it does not) and whether they (the owners) seek to have part of their expensive building as Social Housing (I am absolutely certain they do not), are separate issues which Planners are conveniently rolling into one! At the end of the day (this evening), it is up to the men and women sitting on the Planning Committee of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, in Committee Room 2 at 6.00pm,, as to whether they think the Planners are right, or the great public of Penarth are right. I very strongly support Penarth (as always) and I trust Councillors sitting there think the same way.

  17. David Wilton says:

    There are some disappointing views in here about Social Housing. Social housing includes retirement flats, sheltered accommodation and supported living for people with disabilities. As a society, this is greatly needed.

    • Mel says:

      In your eagerness to be altruistic, I think you may – like the Vale council – have missed the point. I don’t expect the majority would challenge the need for “social housing”. I believe the point is that perhaps a Victorian conversion on a hill is not the best location for supported living for people with disabilities, nor is it in keeping with the environment those paying £500,000 plus for an apartment – the ones allowing the thing to take place in the first instance – would expect. Maybe we should spare a thought for those who pay the taxes and the premium prices for properties and expect a bit of peace and stability for their hard-earned cash. The development should be in keeping with the area’s history.

  18. Chris David says:

    Seems the PC lot have done us again then by re-naming council housing. New titles are needed to distinguish between the groups for proper planning. Ex council house tenant here that saw the original system working very well in most parts. Always those that dragged it down but as a housing function it had much merit. I’m not sure mixing it up works well though. Even families on the council estates objected to that- the policy of dumping rotten apples right in the middle of a settled working community. Luck of the draw is not what you want if you’re trying to develop a small site in certain areas. Just being pragmatic and telling the truth oh underminers (sic) So- maybe that why some properties are being left to dereliction- wacky planning in the VoG – again.

  19. I think it is only fair to point out that every Councillor in Penarth (that is Vale and Town) sees the Weekly Planning Lists, and has the opportunity to comment on each of these applications. As a Plymouth Ward Councillor for some 40 years with experience in virtually every area of the Vale Council’s work, and also as a former Cabinet Member for 10 years or so, I have worked hard for local people throughout this period and helped save many of Penarth’s finest houses and facilities in that time. I fully intend carrying on in exactly the same way, looking after local peoples’ best interests, and their homes, to the best of my ability.

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