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

A planning application to build modern extensions to the side and rear of  Penarth’s historic Victorian coastguard tower on Tower Hill has been voted-through in a unanimous show of hands at the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee .

The Tower is within the architecturally-sensitive Penarth Conservation area and is rated  as a Vale of Glamorgan  “County Treasure” – although it’s not a “listed” building as such.

Vale Planning Chief Victoria Robinson (right) said the Tower redevelopment scheme was “really good”

Planning Chief Victoria Robinson told the planning committee that Vale planning officers were of the view this was ” a really good scheme that will vastly  improve the existing setting of the tower”

Originally – in the 1830s – Penarth Coastguards  occupied the Coastguard Cottages – on the cliff to near Northcliff Lodge from which they overlooked the entrance to Cardiff Docks and the Glamorgan Canal entrance . However in 1864 the coastguards (then part of the Royal Navy)  were re-located to what is now known as Tower Hill (between Plymouth Road and Marine Parade) and needed the eponymous Tower to give them sufficient elevation to scan the coastline and hoist signals. The Tower and its associated dwellings have been a private home for many years and clumsy extensions were added on in the 1970s

coastguard tower

Unsympathetic rear and side extensions to the original Victorian Coastguard Tower are to be replaced with modern extensions

What were  described as “unsympathetic” side and rear extensions were built into the Tower some years ago to make it a more habitable dwelling . These later extensions are now to be demoilished, a new basement created and two new modernistic extensions will replace the older ones.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) (right) with Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell)

Speaking in lieu of Cllr Clive Williams (Independent Plymouth Ward ) who had originally “called-in”  the application in for consideration by the full planning committee was Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines).

Cllr Roberts said the fact that the Tower was rated as a “County Treasure” demonstrated the futility of that system. “It is a beautiful  building but at this present time it’s completely  enveloped in a  hideous  1970s/80s  development  totally unsympathetic with differing windows all round that completely dominate the building”.       

This is how the Tower and its east-facing aspect will look to someone with their back to the sea

Cllr Roberts said  the new proposal was absolutely superb. “It removes all the hideous carbuncles that are attached to it . It’s a vast improvement and makes the Tower justifiable as a “Treasure” .

Cllr Roberts reminded members that Penarth Town Council’s planning committee had objected to the planning application  but its chairman, [Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour St Augustines)]  had later told him that the Penarth committee’s objection had “been a mistake”  .





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  1. John says:

    If I was the owners of this, I’d be watching my back.
    Spend all that money on a so-called “County Treasure” and then the Vale will have down in a flash.

  2. Marcus72 says:

    What are King and Roberts laughing about in that photo?
    Is this the same planning meeting at which a show of hands razed another “Country Treasure” to the ground?

    • NewsNet says:

      Cllrs King and Roberts are sharing a joke about Penarth Daily News ( yes really).
      …and yes it was the same planning meeting – held last night at the Vale of Glamorgan Council HQ in Barry.

      • John says:

        I’ll bet this site is the bane of their lives – otherwise they’d be doing as they please with no exposure. Are you allowed to tell us what they were saying?
        Glad to see their minds were fully on the topics in hand, with no levity to the fore, as they decide the fate of the town and its inhabitants.

      • Tom says:

        What a joke these councillors are.

    • snoggerdog says:

      the taxpayers,we,re allways good for a guffaw.

  3. TwoddleWoddler says:

    yes, especially when you spell like that snoggerdog!

  4. Ron Foxton says:

    ‘My poor Alsatian has no nose.’
    ‘How does he smell then?’
    ‘Mostly Dettol with a hint of wet blanket…’

    It was in the minutes.
    Just after ‘allowable mirth and merriment in public office’ and ahead of ‘dereliction, desecration and destruction of questionable historic landmark buildings – yay or nay?’

    Sounds like a blast to me.

    Glad the moderation got the go ahead. Very sane decision for once.

  5. Ron Foxton says:

    That’s modernisation not moderation of course. Must stop texting while swimming…

  6. Arthur King says:

    I know that he’s not a member of the Planning Committee but why wasn’t Clive Williams there to speak?

  7. AK says:

    They allowed glass boxes to be added to the side of the former Raisdale Hotel, so our planners obviously have no idea what is sympathetic modernisation!

Comments are closed.