Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has given its approval to a scheme to build a completely new ultra modern house in one of the most prominent positions on Penarth’s sea front.
The proposal is to demolish an existing house at No.8 Cliff Parade (last priced at £850,000) , and replace it with a completely new two-storey detached house with flat-roof terrace.
Both the existing No.8 and the proposed new house will stand just a few yards from the cliff edge – separated from it by only a narrow public footpath and grassed verge. Primary living space and master bedroom in the new house will be on the first floor. The kitchen will be on the ground floor.
In the chair Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) said the present house at 8 Cliff Walk “is not really of any great architectural merit “- but he thought the proposed new house reflected the other modernist building across the road [referring to Sea Roads which is soon to be the home of footballer Joe Ledley – a house which can’t actually be seen very well from Cliff Parade] .
Cllr Thomas thought the proposed new house had a “similar kind of feel about it” to Sea Roads .
Cllr Clive Williams (Independent Plymouth Ward) said “In my opinion this is a bold ambitious, acceptable design which makes a statement on this site – which is in a very prominent position”. He said he wished to move approval.
Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said “The problem I have with this is that it’s replacing a relatively modern house. This is in a very prominent position – the last house on the left as you come up Cliff Parade and my feeling is that it’s going to stand out “. He said it was in the “rectangular and square mode” and felt it was a pity that it would not match in with housing on that side .
Cllr Ernest said that the other modernistic house “Sea Roads” [which stands opposite] was “down in a dip – you really don’t see it at all. This house “ he said [referring to the proposed new dwelling] you would most definitely see” . He urged “a degree of soft landscaping to take the hard edges off the building” .
It was established that the site of the new house would be outside the architecturally sensitive Penarth Conservation Area.
Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said he completely disagreed with Cllr Ernest. The original house at 8 Cliff Walk had been completed as a “very nice Swedish- style dark-wood clad building – and, with apologies to the current owners , it is now hideous. It’s painted white, it’s got a Victorian style conservatory on it. It looks absolutely dreadful”.
Cllr Roberts admitted that he had previously criticised the “well-known” architect of the new building – Chris Loyn – “for the development proposal at the Headlands. ” On this occasion however Cllr Roberts said “I don’t disagree with him . A radical design there [meaning Cliff Parade] would be an absolute asset to the town . It replaces an eyesore with what is a striking-looking building. ”
Cllr Roberts said his only reservation was that the existing wooden fence was to be replaced by white rendered walls – and he would not want those walls to be too high because pedestrians would be walking past it and “the footpath would be lower than the garden of the house”. Other than that, he seconded Cllr Williams’s motion .
Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) sought clarification about the structure on top of the flat roof of the house – was it a “roof garden?” he asked. It was established it was a “roof terrace”.
Cllr Wilson thought the new house would be an improvement upon the existing building but had reservations about its proposed height . “It’s going up by o.6 metres – effectively 2 feet. It’s a bit higher than I would like, but nevertheless overall I would support it “
Cllr Martin Turner (Labour Plymouth Ward) said “We’ve not come across any reasons why it shouldn’t go ahead. Whether we like it as a design or not , I don’t think there are any planning rules that are going to be broken” . He supported the application.
Cllr Neil Thomas in the chair confirmed that the design was a matter of taste and not a matter for the planning committee . “It certainly will be a statement building on the cliff top there, in a prominent position – but that, I believe, would be an asset.”
Cllr Rhiannon Birch asked whether the quoted height of the building was to the roof or to the railings surrounding the “roof terrace”.
The Town Clerk Emma Boylen said it was to the roof of the dwelling. Cllr Thomas said it was to the top of the “lift shaft”.
Cllr Birch said she would not be supporting the proposal – and as a result a vote was called for in which all councillors voted “for” except for Cllr Birch, who abstained.
The application is therefore being supported by Penarth Town Council with the proviso that the boundary walls are not “overly dominant”.