No. 24 Archer Road, Penarth. The proposed new “coach house” would be at the rear of the building

The days when well-to-do homes in Penarth had their own “coach-houses”  and – what’s more – actually kept coaches in them,  are long gone – but Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has been  considering a planning application to build a brand-new one. 

The proposed scheme – which is within the architecturally-sensitive Penarth Conservation Area –  involves the demolition of an existing flat-roofed garage,  and building a new two-storey  “garage/coach-house”  at the rear of a Grade II listed home – No. 24 Archer Road Penarth.


Elevations of the  new two-storey “coach house” proposed for the rear of 24 Archer Road

The applicant says the new pitched-roof garage/coach-house building is to be “in keeping with others built at the rear of the property” . The new coach-house would comprise a ground floor garage with an external staircase leading up to what is described as a “first floor workshop”. 

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Planning committee chairman Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour St Augustines) said “This is a back-lane development “

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) said “My concern is that we allow it to go through and then lo-and-behold it will suddenly become a habitable dwelling.  “ She said she was quite concerned about “a future back-yard development”.

Cllr Thomas said “ It was something which raised my antennae a bit when I read this. It’s not going to be prominent in the area. It is in a back lane – in a big garden. Access to it will be through the lane” – a lane which he said he knew very well .

Cllr Mike Cuddy Town Mayor and Leader of Penarth Town Council

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s) said he was looking at the fenestration of the top storeys . It did not appear to him that it would be suitable for a habitable building  – the windows would be too small.  That tended to support the “coach house idea” and the applicants might be actually applying for a coach house”.

Cllr Birch asked why it would be necessary to have an external staircase if the ground floor was going to be “your garage” and the top floor “your own workshop”. Cllr Cuddy speculated it might be in order to leave enough room “to get the coach in,  I suppose”  .

Cllr Birch pointed out that traditionally coach-houses had people living in them – “over the coach”.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) suggested that the planning committee should ask the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which will make the final decision on the application to impose a condition that the new building is “not to be used as living accommodation in any form”.

Penarth Town Cllr Anthony Ernest

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said the development was very much in the heart of that part of the Penarth Conservation Area. It was an area with “very fine houses” – some with “6 or 7 bedrooms or more”  . He said he was concerned about the “residential aspect” and also  with regard to the roofs which he said would be “out of context with the  design of the principal property”.

He supported the points made by other members and suggested the application should be raised with the Conservation Officer of the Vale of Glamorgan Council. Cllr Ernest said that if a precedent was created for a back-garden development then “there are many other properties along there which could develop similar ideas”.

The concerns expressed by the council will now be communicated to the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which will make the final decision – and its Conservation Officer .


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  1. JTR69 says:

    I think that the lanes should become residential. A bit like the mews streets in London. At present, the lanes are just dusty and unloved.

    • Ian says:

      Yeah, let’s cram the town like the English capital.
      Let’s ensure we leave people in no doubt that the place is an over-developed, over-populated conurbation that thinks London is the height of sophistication.
      “A bit like the mews streets in London” my backside.

      • JTR69 says:

        Loosen up. There is a housing shortage don’t you know. Also, think of all of that extra council tax VOG will scoop up. How parochial.

      • Marty says:

        That much-trumpeted “housing shortage” certainly has its uses.
        Money, money, money. You cosmopolitan sophisticate, you.

    • Mark says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. The “lanes” you call “dusty and unloved” were not designed for two-way traffic, with 4x4s and Ocado delivery vans back and forth all the time.

  2. Guido says:

    A prime issue in planning terms with most back lane developments, whether residential or commercial, is that they would encourage additional traffic movements along narrow routes not capable of accommodating them. Most if not all lanes in Penarth are a single cars width allowing limited passing movements. The use of outbuildings for limited residential purposes is also in some part, permitted development although there are a number of additional factors that have to be satisfied first to be considered outside of planning control.

  3. William says:

    Not this again. Chris Loyn was told no. Why can’t people listen?
    Why would anyone want to spend all that on a “workshop”, I wonder?
    Personally, I think Rhiannon Birch is right to raise the alarm.
    Next thing you know it’ll be ‘well the building is already there, all we want to do is change the windows’.
    Funny how a ‘workshop’ will demand electricity, no doubt a radiator or two…
    Will it have plumbing so the greasy workers can have a shower, I wonder?

  4. Simon says:

    Two storey garage/workshop? It’s HUGE. It’s like a little empire of its own.
    I imagine those involved have spent some time on these “plans” in an attempt to ease the passage of this VAST construction. People must think the council came up on the Milk Train.

  5. Phil says:

    Oh, come off it. The drawing on the right hand side with those windows looks very much like a house to me. Why on earth would you need fancy domestic-looking windows like that in a “garage”?
    Surely, if one is going to the expense of building such a thing one intends to keep valuable cars/items etc within. Why would you want windows which make it look like a “mews house” and showcase the contents of your “garage” to the world?
    I can’t imagine why.
    I see the windows on the upper storey on the left hand drawing have been carefully included.

  6. Jonny says:

    Ha ha, best laugh I’ve had in ages. I bet they’re measuring up the shutters for that downstairs double window now.

  7. Tim says:

    “Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s) said he was looking at the fenestration of the top storeys . It did not appear to him that it would be suitable for a habitable building – the windows would be too small. That tended to support the “coach house idea” and the applicants might be “actually applying for a coach house”.
    Has Cllr Mike Cuddy also looked at the ‘fenestration’ on the right-side drawing which appear to me highly suitable for a habitable building – the windows would be the perfect size. Does he think they ‘tend to support the coach house idea or another sort of idea?
    Quite surprised he focused on the small upper windows when the most blatant thing is that double window in an alleged “garage”…
    People must think they’re playing a blinder with the thick Labour lot who’ll swallow anything.
    Kudos to Rhiannon Birch for questioning the exterior staircase.
    It seems clear as day to me what is going on here.

  8. Mark Foster says:

    I think you lot of champagne socialists have a responsibility to build coach houses for Syrian Refugees in these lanes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see ladies walking along them in burkhas just like the Saudis in Knightsbridge.

  9. Daft o dull says:

    Seems like we have a poverty of ambition here from council members and commentators.

    Why should the owner not be allowed to build an elegant coach house to keep cars in instead of building a boxy prefab garage? After all the councillor said these were very fine houses. Why not have a very fine garage and workshop?

    • Jonny says:

      Yes, an “elegant coach house” so fine it could almost be habitable – the very definition of “ambition”, as you say, though I can think of another word for it too.

    • Richard says:

      Surely such a “very fine garage and workshop” will demand topiary bay trees in pots either side of the front door, with a chrome knocker and slate name plate too.

    • Seth says:

      Eee by gum, you people up there in your big ‘ouses and us plebs not understanding you simply want a ‘very fine garage and workshop’ to suit your ‘very fine house’.
      Please excuse our ignorance and lack of ambition and us not seeing that your intention is simply to build a rather grand garage/workshop (albeit with windows befitting a two-bedroom Barrett starter home.)
      You must excuse us, with our limited vision, for thinking it looks rather more like a dwelling and certainly not somewhere to keep a car or toil upstairs at the lathe.
      Garage/workshop indeed – I’ve never heard anything so absurd. You must have a very low opinion of the council to bang that drum.

  10. Sidney says:

    I intend submitting a plan for a very large three-storey construction at the bottom of my very large garden.
    ground floor will be a “garage”
    first floor will be a “workshop”
    second floor will be an “office”
    I live in a very large house – but obviously not quite large enough as I need this extra space for “other activities” – but I’m hoping the council will swallow it hook, line and sinker

  11. Peter Church says:

    Why have every second property owner in Penarth turned in Greedy Mc Greedy Face?
    They would sell off their own granny if it could be turned into a flat.
    Hang on…..

  12. Ron Foxton (Barry-cum-Penarthington) says:

    Do you lot of moaners not remember LWTs excellent, historical docu-drama Upstairs, Downstairs? The Bellamy’s got it right: let a Gareth Hunt live in the coach house with the Royces, then his chauffeuring duties are instantly on hand 24hrs a day, 246 parliamentary, bed-hopping days a year. Clever stuff Guv’nor and I’ll have a port please Mr Hudson…

    • Ron Foxton (Barry-cum-Penarthington) says:

      In other words, of course it’s a bloody habitable coach house. Coach houses are. The council know this, planners know this, we all know this. So what though? Why the hell shouldn’t the owners of their own land develop it sympathetically within the known confines of planning regs? There’s no smoke and mirrors here…

      • Tim says:

        Well if that’s the case, I can’t think of a better example of smoke and mirrors (or taking the mick)…saying you’re building a garage and a workshop when in fact it’s a “bloody habitable coach house”.

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