Vale of Glamorgan councillors are being recommended to approve controversial, modernistic, two storey extensions to Penarth’s famous Victorian Coastguard Tower – on the eponymous “Tower Hill”.
The Coastguard Tower redevelopment – which is within the town’s architecturally sensitive Conservation Area – has been given the green light by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s professional planners – and now just needs the endorsement of the council’s full Planning Committee when it meets on Thursday this week .
The Vale Council’s Planning Department has given the ‘thumbs-up’ to the scheme – despite objections raised by some local residents, and despite the objections of Penarth Town Council’s planning committee – which recommended the planning application should be refused due to “overdevelopment in context of County Treasure”.
Some neighbours were concerned about what they called “planning creep” and feared that “the large two storey [extension] will destroy the character of the old tower”. The neighbours were also concerned that the rear balcony would intrude on the privacy of their rear garden, and that the scheme represented what they called “an overbearing, out of scale and out of character change in the appearance of a building in a conservation area and adjacent to Grade II listed cottages”.
Penarth Civic Society – noting the “listed building” status of the Tower and its location within the Penarth Conservation Area – said it didn’t object to the replacement of the existing extension, but felt that the scheme was “uncompromisingly
modern” and suggested the use of less glass and using more lime stone walling.
The application for the extensions to Tower Hill were “called in” so that it would be discussed by the full Vale of Glamorgan Council Planning Committee by Cllr Clive Williams (Independent Plymouth Ward) – but as of this month Cllr Williams is no longer a member of the Planning Committee (following his resignation from the Conservative Party) .