Penarth’s Victorian landmark – the Coastguard Tower on Tower Hill may have proposed new extensions – front and rear- approved at Thursday’s Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee

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 .

This is how the new extensions to the Coastguard Tower would look – facing North (with the sea on the right hand side)

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”.

This is how the new look Coastguard Tower and its east-facing aspect would appear to someone with their back to the sea. The new extensions would replace the present front and side extensions which were added in the 1960s

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) .



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  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    This is a disgrace. The civic society is a waste of space, Im on the cmte and they refuse to take a strong stance on conservation as it is dominated by labour party lackies, chaired by the ex town architect who doesn’t live in Penarth and has Chris Loyn as honorary president, a modern brutalist architect who wanted to change the constitution to delete a commitment to preservation of our conservation areas.and who wanted to build a modern 2 strorey building in his conservation area back garden that the civic society wouldn’t comment on!. He attends every meeting writing copious notes. The Cmte officers are cowed by his presence.
    The town council has the same Mr Loyn on its secretive ‘momentum’ group that meets monthly and makes decisions in private and intends to impose his ghastly concrete benches on Penarth. The Town Council says it is not required to reveal the identities of community members who sit on a community group on a voluntary basis. The Councillors who sit on the Group, as Observers, are labour Councillors Cuddy, Thomas and conservative Cllr Turner working and condoning this secret group.he has attended over 90% of meetings over the last 12 months.

    • Mgg says:

      Yawn yawn yawn. If you think civic society is a disgrace then resign. I am sick to death of your prostititution of the facts for you to have a go at Mr LLoyn time and again. I hope you can prove your allegations ref civic meetings or are you talking out of your hat again.
      And yawn yawn garden grabber …which isn’t acccurate

      And what has the momentum group got to do with this article .?

      What is the point of you identifying council observers .? Anyone could make that link , it doesnt make you clever. There’s a conservative on their so it blows any Labour rubbish statements out of the water.

      And finally . The vale have okd this Penarth didn’t .So why have a go at them ?
      Note Donald Trump keeps getting stymied by the truth.

      Bored bored bored of the same old tired vitriol and no new ideas .

      When you have lost your deposit let me know and i would be over the moon to reimburse you .

      • Richard says:

        There you are, having a go at Anne Greagsby all the time for what you call ‘the same tired old vitriol’, Mgg. Have you heard yourself?

      • Anne Greagsby says:

        I’m amazed at the calibre of the unelected chair – mgg – of the secretive men’s ‘momentum’ group implementing the town destruction plan! We want to preserve our county treasures and restore them for future generations not ruin them.

      • Dan says:

        Quite, Richard. Talk about people in glasshouses.

  2. Ron Foxton says:

    Rolls left trouser leg to knee and daubs forehead with a virgin olive oil cross… is there really a secret society of brutalist Brutalists? I want in!

    The planned remodelling and modernisation of the tower will certainly be clean and low key, elevating the existing historically important tower with its traditional stonework. Nicely executed and sympathetically spec’d. I’m jealous…

    • Plainjane says:

      Agree it looks amazing. Penarth needs more of this

    • Freddie says:

      Considering how secretive everything appears, I don’t think your rolled trouser leg gag is too far off the mark.

      • Simon says:

        Nothing more than a boys’ club it seems to me. Usually I’d laugh at them but they appear to have FAR too much power.

  3. penarthblog says:

    It looks inappropriate and sterile, then again it’s difficult to see how it will be in reality.

  4. Chris Wyatt says:

    I feel sure that the overwhelming majority of members of the Penarth Civic Society will be understandably upset and saddened by Anne Greagsby’s vitriolic attack on her colleagues on the Society’s executive committee and in particular on our much respected and valued President. Clearly, her comments are completely at odds with the executive committee’s views and we will now consider how we should respond.

    • Richard says:

      As an independent observer, it seems to me there may well be some truth to what Anne Greagsby is saying. How else to explain the woeful performance of “Penarth Civic Society” in protecting the architectural heritage and traditional appearance of the town?
      Where is the so-called civic society on the pier issue?
      Do we hear from you about the removal of Victorian lamp posts?
      Or the crass blot that is the expensive, crumbling viewing platform?
      Or those stupid, affected, costly benches?
      I’m bemused that Chris Loyn, the much-trumpeted modernist architect, has the nerve to be “president” of the society when his work and designs are so at odds with the town’s heritage. Isn’t he involved with the proposed Northcliffe development for which we all await the appeal?
      I was interested to hear Anne Greagsby’s opinion that “The civic society is a waste of space… they refuse to take a strong stance on conservation as it is dominated by labour party lackies, chaired by the ex town architect who doesn’t live in Penarth and has Chris Loyn as honorary president, a modern brutalist architect…”
      Can you confirm please, Chris Wyatt, if there is any truth in the allegation that Chris Loyn “wanted to change the constitution to delete a commitment to preservation of our conservation areas” and also whether he “wanted to build a modern 2 strorey building in his conservation area back garden that the civic society wouldn’t comment on!”
      Is it true that “The town council has the same Mr Loyn on its secretive ‘momentum’ group that meets monthly and makes decisions in private”?
      You haven’t touched on any of this, I notice, and I do wonder what goes on behind the closed doors. I’ve been thinking this about PACL and the pier too, and whether these groups are something of a closed shop of pompous, aloof know-alls so any information to disabuse me of this notion would be welcome. 🙂
      I would be much obliged for confirmation either way or are you about to go silent too? Thanks.

  5. daff's friend says:

    Anne Greagby’s goes on about “ex town architect who doesn’t even live in town” but excuse me if I’m wrong but I thought Ms. Greagsby lived in Cardiff. I thought she represented her party at the last couple of elections from an address in Cardiff. Is this correct, or is she recently arrived in Penarth and has all this amazing knowledge about everything that happens in Penarth, so soon after arriving.

    • Simon says:

      Does the ex town architect live in the town then?

    • Anne Greagsby says:

      Well you thought wrong. Fake news!?

      • Penarthian says:

        Correct news as you well know Ms Greagsby. Please don’t attempt to mislead we people of Penarth. You were on the electoral roll, registered to your Cardiff address within the last year. It is a matter of public record.

  6. Max Wallis says:

    What’s most a,amazing are the contortions that the planners go thru in arguing they are preserving or enhancing our conservation area by ensuring new extensions are uncompromisingly modernist and clearly separated from the old. Then, anything goes. is their line – as long as it doesn’t overlook or be otherwise un-neighbourly. At the Penarth Civic Society meeting in January, members were take aback by the Conservation officer saying he intended not to object to the Tower House changes because the earlier approved extension (not implemented) was also modernist out-of-sympathy with Tower House. Rather than admit the previous permit was faulty and contrary to the Conservation Area objectives, the Planners and Conservation officer want to convert this fault into a new principle – that extensions to buildings in the Consevation Area should be uncompromisingly modernist ! Hopefully, some Councillors attending the Committee will be uncompromisingly scathing, like pur valued Clive Williams whose former Tory colleagues have ejected from the Committee.

    • Terence says:

      It’s the “fusion” line which makes me laugh and they talk as though everyone else is a pleb and doesn’t understand. You only have to look at the Raisdale extensions to see the tragedy of a “fusion”.

  7. Mgg says:

    When Anne Greagsby stops telling lies, trolling members of the public and offers ideas instead of vitriol then I will stop commenting on her entries.

    • Jim says:

      In the meantime, such are your protestations in favour of the positive, what ideas are you offering?

      • Mgg says:

        Thank you for your reply But I’m not standing for election. Am i however i will offer some ideas in future posts just to show it can be done without as i note ,
        Misrepresentation of facts or trolling certain individuals.

  8. Dave says:

    The current extensions on it are rubbish. With these in place I imagine its quite a big property so why even bigger. Not sure if the original horrible extensions are being replaced, added to or cladded somehow. I find the planning decisions around Penarth are crazy,something you would think is a no is approved and vice versa. Maybe that’s not why I am a planner, but to the untrained eye omg.

  9. Daff's friend says:

    Thank you Penarthian that’s what I thought. How can you be in two places at one time Ms. Greagsby. I understood she lived in Cardiff, and stood for election there, until fairly recently, so how she can criticise the ex town architect who she says “doesn’t even live in the town” – “pots and pans” Ms. Greagsby, fake news I don’t think so!!

  10. Blue says:

    Anne Greagsby is Neil McEvoy’s “friend”. He invited her into Plaid after she was kicked out of the Greens. Anne is related to Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins, McEvoy’s ex-fiancée, but I don’t think Bethan is very fond of Anne. Bethan is even less fond of Neil McEvoy – she tried to stop him from speaking at the recent Plaid spring conference, after he was found guilty of bullying behaviour. Maybe there is a link between Neil’s cultivation of Anne’s friendship and his enmity with Bethan?

    Anne’s links to Penarth are very tenuous – her partner lives here. She has lived in Caerau for many years. She seems to be on a mission to undermine Labour’s influence in civil society in Penarth. Given that her mentor McEvoy is now a proven bully, one would think that Anne might moderate her own behaviour when undertaking this endeavour.

    I really don’t see why Anne is so fervent about Plaid when she doesn’t seem to be a Welsh nationalist – she is more concerned about pollution and conservation, it seems. Which are good causes, no doubt. But when you pitch up in a town and start kicking up multiple stinks, accusing people of various things, it may be wise to consider your own behaviour, motivations and connections if you don’t want to permanently tarnish the reputation of the organisation which you purport to represent – Plaid Cymru.

    Interestingly, McEvoy rarely refers to his party as Plaid Cymru; he calls it “Cardiff Plaid” which obviously translates as “Cardiff Party”. It would be interesting to know if prominent local Plaid Cymru members are loyal to Cardiff Plaid or to Plaid Cymru. Maybe Chris Franks, Richard Grigg or Ian Johnson could cast some light on the distinction?

    • James74 says:

      What a nasty, intrusive post. Who on earth are you, coming on here, gossiping about such things? Clearly someone with an eye on the political game. What some people will stoop to is beyond me.

      • Blue says:

        Knowing Anne and McEvoy has led me to post on here. In my opinion they are very similar characters. Seeing the damage McEvoy has done to Plaid Cymru makes me feel sad. I fear that Anne will harm Plaid’s cause in Penarth.

      • Michael says:

        With respect, I don’t think there’s any damage to be done to “Plaid’s cause in Penarth”. I imagine Plaid’s cause in Penarth is practically non-existent. I don’t mean this to be unkind but I just don’t see much support for Plaid here. Anne Greagsby has certainly made people take notice that Plaid exists and isn’t simply a nationalistic party of Welsh speakers intent on independence, or any of the other notions people – correctly or incorrectly – hold about various parties.
        Whether you think she is attracting the “right” sort of attention for Plaid is your business – though I don’t think that means you should post personal, intrusive detail purportedly motivated by your concern she doesn’t “tarnish” the party.
        I wasn’t a Plaid voter but I might be now. I think Anne has energy. I don’t see her as “negative”. She seems to be quite courageous in the way she takes on the established political mores of the town. Nobody else is doing that. Good luck to her, I say.

      • Freddie says:

        I agree with Michael. The Greagsby certainly kicked them up the bottom about Northcliffe – though I don’t doubt that will rear its ugly head again – and is on the conservation case like no other. Nobody else seems to care the town is being turned into a plug ugly mishmash and that wonderful examples of Victorian architecture are allowed to go to rack and ruin or be bulldozed. Look at the Berni building, ST Paul’s Church, the mansion left to rot on Bridgeman Road, and the monstrous plans submitted for the nearby house. It’s happening too often now but nobody cares a damn. Thanks for speaking up Anne.

  11. Will says:

    Message to Anne Greagsby:
    If I was you, I’d take it as a massive compliment that you have people on here trying to expose your private life and do you down (though I expect they’d be the first to sneer at similar tabloid tactics). I am not a Plaid voter but you have certainly made your mark in Penarth and the ingrained, smug Labour lot – apparently not used to being questioned by old hand Tory types who can’t keep up – don’t like it one bit. Keep up the good work.
    I am getting the distinct impression Penarth is run by a largely male, Labour coterie, with zero challenges. The old guard representing the Tories hasn’t got a clue. We need people like you. Thank you.

  12. Tim says:

    Ann Greagsby doesn’t need to say anymore. She appears to have exposed certain people – and parties – by letting them show us what they are.
    Well done, Ann, I think you’ve rattled a few cages which the Dad’s Army Tories appear consistently reluctant to do. Brava.

  13. Blue says:

    Anne is a public figure who puts herself about and is not shy of commenting. As someone who is standing for public office she will be subject to scrutiny. In my opinion she doesn’t care about Penarth’s heritage – why would she? She’s barely spent any time here and can hardly be said to have a huge emotional attachment to the town.

    I also believe that she doesn’t really care too much for Plaid’s core aim. Her task, in my opinion, is to be a vanguard in the Vale for McEvoy’s Momentum-like attempt to take over or replace Plaid Cymru. Hence his use of “Cardiff Plaid”.

    If you think that voting for someone who is best buds with a known bully – and McEvoy is despised by many within Plaid Cymru – is going to “save” Penarth’s Edwardian and Victorian architecture then fair enough.

    McEvoy may be responsible for a split in Plaid Cymru. His supporters – and Anne isn’t the only one in “Penarth Plaid” – may have to decide whether to follow their “leader” or to stick with the Party of Wales. It is only fair that the voters in Penarth are aware of other possible motivations for candidates’ behaviour.

    Anne regularly attacks and questions the loyalties and motives of other people. I’m sure she is tough enough and hopefully fair-minded enough to accept this honest appraisal of her actions.

    • Mgg says:

      Thank you .I get so annoyed at the plaid candidate that i fall into ,albeit muted , retaliation.and i am indeed annoyed at myself for doing so.
      Yours is the sort of considered reply i wish to make. You have stated that the content is your opinion from some knowledge and not just thrown it in as fact . Any candidate should embrace fair scrutiny .
      I have allowed myself to think that fire with fire will work in rebutting the candidates unfair approach.

      I will strive to offer a more balanced approach in future .There is quite enough truth available.

    • Lewis says:

      if your intention was to protect Plaid Cymru, Blue, you’ve managed to expose it as extremely unappealing.

  14. Tom says:

    I’v contacted Miss Greagsby today regarding this and await her reply. I’m not the Greagsby’s biggest fan or neither fan(s) of the party(s) she represents / represented. I must admit i don’t agree with most of her policies, but i must commend her for the passion she show in saving the conservation of Penarth.

    Her snowflake views on social housing and the idea of an all night diesel bus service are ridiculous. The only time we have a brake from the dreadful diesel fumes are at night. As a ex green you would think she would be dead against it.

    • LJS says:

      I am not Ms Greagsby’s biggest fan either. I don’t like the republican stance of her current Plaid Cymru and previous Green parties. I don’t like her lack of transparency, she has officially only come to Penarth recently but she denies it. She is also coy about Yr Iath Gymraeg, the Welsh language and how much she supports it and how much she believes it should be financially supported. She is however passionate about Penarth and it being a unique Victorian seaside town with a unique identity. She is passionate about the conservation area when Councillors in their many forms believe uPVC is acceptable, tree destruction is acceptable and poor development is acceptable. She doesn’t accept the gradual erosion of the conservation area. She unfortunately has a bus fetish when developers for example in Sully, should be made to contribute to restoring the rail network and funding trams… but she cares and appears to care a lot more than some existing Councillors.
      I am a true blue in voting terms and would hate to see Her Majesty toppled by Ms G and comrades. Ms G however is bent on a better Penarth and other Councillor candidates do not seem to care as much. Potholes and playgrounds are important but I believe the fabric of Penarth, development, parks, trees, buildings, preserving the essence of the conservation area are way more important and fair play to Ms G she realises it.

      • John says:

        Completely agree with you. She is the only one to speak out.

      • Blue says:

        She is passionate about Penarth’s architectural heritage because she has identified it as a way of getting noticed. Her modus operandi is to attack any people or bodies connected to the Labour party and thence create a narrative that links those connected to Labour with the danger to historic buildings.

        Ask yourself: who has the power to protect and conserve Penarth’s Victorian and Edwardian architecture? I would say, ranked from top to bottom
        1 the building’s freeholder
        2 potential developers
        3 the planning authority (VoG)
        4 Cadw (if it has a chance of being listed).
        5 Penarth Town Council
        6 Penarth Civic Society

        Anne is attacking the wrong people if she wants to stop development happening. She should start from the top of the list and work her way down.

        But in my opinion she is more concerned with making some noise, grabbing some media coverage and garnering some votes. It is what McEvoy has done and Anne is copying him.

  15. Sparrow says:

    Just look at yourselves !

  16. snoggerdog says:

    character allready dead & buried

  17. Nincompoop says:

    And the original story was about ………

Comments are closed.