Northcliff Lodge is the white building in the centre of the picture

With less than 4 weeks to go before the local elections – a further attempt is being made by developers to win planning permission to develop 30 box-like apartments at Northcliff Lodge  – on the iconic green escarpment of Penarth Head – overlooking Cardiff Bay.

The plans is a revised “re-submission”  of the heavily-criticised scheme which was thrown out by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee  in January .

January 5th 2017: It was a bad night for the Vale Council’s planning and regeneration boss Marcus Goldsworthy as councillors shredded his report recommending the Northcliffe Lodge application be approved. It was thrown out – but now it’s coming back.

On that occasion the Vale Council’s own “professional planners”  took a pasting from Vale councillors – who accused them of “group-think” for having recommended approval of the  contentious scheme – a development which would have completely altered the look of the Penarth Headland from Cardiff Bay.

To the chagrin of the Vale Planning Department,  the Vale of Glamorgan councillors voted overwhelmingly to reject the Northcliff Lodge scheme.

Northcliff Lodge – a Swiss-style mini-mansion in its own right valued at £1,200,000 was the “lodge” of the main house Northcliff . It would be demolished to make way for the new development

…. However, with many millions of pounds at stake – the Northcliff Lodge  planning battle is anything but over  – and a very similar new scheme is now being prepared.

With the local elections less than 4 weeks away –  and a with a new Vale of Glamorgan Council about to be elected –  the determined developers have chosen this moment to revive their rejected apartment scheme for Northcliff Lodge and are preparing to submit a revised version of the scheme, which appears to be very similar to the rejected original.

Planning Consultants LRM have “hand-delivered” letters to local residents living near Northcliff Lodge asking them for their views on the latest version of the development – which will then be included in a fresh planning application for what – in essence – appears to be a similar scheme

Planning agents LRM – acting for the developers Celtic Developments (Penarth) Ltd  –  have “hand-delivered” letters to every household in the immediate vicinity of Northcliff Lodge soliciting the comments of local residents on the Mark II version of developement.

These comments will be sent to the Vale of Glamorgan Council and form part of the new version of the Northcliff Lodge development proposals.

The Northcliff Lodge scheme was designed by award winning local architects Loyn & Co – but was derided for comprising “little boxes”.  Illustrations of the “revised” version have not yet been issued. Illustrations of the original scheme were described in the planning committee as “almost misleading”.

The Northcliff Lodge scheme has been designed for Celtic Developments by local award-winning architects Loyn & Co – run by the president of of the Penarth Civic Society Chris Loyn who specialises in modernistic designs.

Box-like 3D housing models on display in the new premises of Loyn & Co in Glebe St , Penarth

His firm has just moved into new premises in Glebe St, Penarth  where 3D models of its designs are on display in the window .

It’s already known that some of the most vociferous opponents of the original Northcliff Lodge scheme will not be in the newly-formed Vale of Glamorgan Council after the May 4th elections 

January 5th 2017: Vale Council ‘cabinet’ member Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell) – who friends say planned to vote in favour of the original Northcliff Lodge application – covered his eyes as Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) continued his devastating attack on the proposals

Cllr Jeffrey James (Conservative Rhoose)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) is not standing for election to the Vale Council – although he is standing as a candidate for Penarth Town Council. It was Cllr Roberts’s eloquent diatribe which galvanised opinion in the planning committee against the Northcliff Lodge scheme.

Also stepping down from the Vale Council next month is another opponent of the scheme  – the authoritative and highly experienced Cllr Jeffrey James (Conservative Rhoose).

However another doughty opponent of the Northcliff Lodge Scheme –  the formidable Anne Greagsby – is standing for election to the Vale Council on May 4th .

Environmental campaigner Anne Greagsby  spoke out against the Northcliff Lodge Scheme on January 5th in the planning committee

As a member of the public – [ not a councillor]  Ms Greagsby spoke powerfully against the scheme in the decisive January meeting of the Vale planning committee – and she continues to oppose it. She now says of the developers The cheek of them bring this back while the town council and Vale council are stood down!  “

“The new Northcliffe application is much the same plan just issued for ‘pre-application’ consultation, with their  planning consultancy trying new tactics.  They also been lobbying the Design Commission for Wales “

“The previous application was rejected against officer recommendation because the proposed buildings are of an excessive size, massing and form, fail to have regard to the context of the site and its coastal headland context, and fail to either preserve or enhance the character of the nearby Conservation Area and Listed Buildings.  No mention that the officers were wrong on bats and trees; on ‘sustainable location’ and car-parking, on cliff-side stability and on adverse effects on the setting of the Custom House etc.   Yet there are no photomontages as normal process to show visual impact on our listed buildings and the cliff-side landscape.”

Ms Greagsby says “Objectors do NOT need to respond to this to inform the consultants why they object, other than it’s little changed and the issues raised by the public have not been addressed. They want our reasons for objecting in advance so they address them before it goes to the planning officers. We can make specific objections when it goes to the Council.”

She goes on to point out that  “Residents and the Campaign Against Northcliffe Development fear that some Councillors who led the rejection at the planning meeting in January will not be re-elected on 4th May.”

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Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Chris David says:

    This is the list of candidates for the ward where Northcliffe Lodge lies. I call on these candidates to declare here in public whether they will vote for at against development of Northcliffe Lodge. Any who don’t declare a position I think we can deem are FOR development and by not declaring they demonstrate they are of the secret order we suffer from so much in Penarth and the Vale.

    • Paul CHURCH (Independent)
    • Anne GREAGSBY (Plaid Cymru)
    • Graham HUMPHRIES (Independent)
    • Robin LYNN (Welsh Liberal Democrats)
    • Heath John MARSHALL (Welsh Liberal Democrats)
    • Ruba SIVAGNANAM (Welsh Labour)
    • Anthony SLAUGHTER (Wales Green Party)
    • Gareth SNAITH (Wales Green Party)
    • Aled THOMAS Plaid Cymru
    • Neil Christopher THOMAS (Welsh Labour)
    • Martin James TURNER ( Welsh Conservative Party)
    • Wendy Elaine VAN DEN BROM (Welsh Conservative Party )

  2. Tom says:

    I’m quite sure this disgusting scheme will go ahead.

  3. Richard says:

    If anyone is in any doubt that Anne Greagsby needs to be elected, here is the reason why. She appears to be the only ****er prepared to speak out against this monstrous egotistical colonising of one of the town’s few remaining areas of habitat for wildlife.
    Why do people bow and scrape so to “award-winning” Chris Loyn?
    The fact the models are displayed in his windows says all we need to know.
    Game over.

    • Big Davey says:

      If you have to use the word ‘award winning’ in front of your name then your name isn’t strong enough through merit alone.

      Bigdavey – Award winning plonker.

  4. Jackson says:

    I suspect Chris Loyn and his supporters and the likes of the Design Council for Wales are far more sophisticated than us plebs. They understand “good design” (see the Anna Castelli quadrati as an inspiration for housing development) and anyone who disagrees with “modernistic” architecture in place of wildlife habitat (in a town allegedly protecting its Victorian heritage) is a froth-mouthed backward Luddite.
    These design experts operate on a far higher aesthetic plane than the rest of us. They see the workability of fusion, they clamour to fill space with white angles. We should know our place.

  5. Jonny says:

    The expression on Marcus Goldsworthy’s face is a picture – with his county quilted jacket and scarf as a backdrop in lieu of Lis Burnett’s handbag.

  6. Frank Evans says:

    Graham Humphries has said he is opposed to it.

  7. Penileaks says:

    Wonderful design, reminds me of this little ditty performed by Pete Seeger, the words suit what’s coming methinks:-

    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes all the same.
    There’s a green one and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one,
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.

    And the people in the houses
    All went to the university,
    Where they were put in boxes
    And they came out all the same,
    And there’s doctors and lawyers,
    And business executives,
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.

    And they all play on the golf course
    And drink their martinis dry,
    And they all have pretty children
    And the children go to school,
    And the children go to summer camp
    And then to the university,
    Where they are put in boxes
    And they come out all the same.

    And the boys go into business
    And marry and raise a family
    In boxes made of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.
    There’s a green one and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one,
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.

  8. Chris David says:

    Paul Church Independent AGAINST. A double good. Noted. Mr Evans thanks but Mr Humphries will have to speak for himself. Incidentally will these candidates be publishing email addresses online? Some have- We could question them in advance and have a reply for the record. Generally-where they stand on PACL, Vale building policy and secrecy would be a start. How about organising something PDN?

    • Carl87 says:

      I second your request. Great idea to get some accountability.
      I think it’s high time the clique was broken up.

  9. Fergie says:

    Why not question them in person? Oops you can’t. Have to make up your mind quickly, your postal vote will be due soon.

  10. Dizzydeb says:

    We have enough little boxes on the crest development, with little Windows but just orange and yellow ones.
    It would be great to know what each of the candidates would do with St Pauls too, and the rubbish problem??

    • Peter Church says:

      I want to know what each candidate thinks about my new lighter duvet, now the weathers warming up?

  11. Grey local says:

    Mr Lyon is a member of the Penarth Society, which often speaks out for Penarth. It would be interesting to hear what the society thinks of this development

    • Jamie says:

      Nobody appears to say anything in this town for fear of stepping out of line and being excluded from the clique. It seems Penarth is full of self-interested sycophants covering their backs.

  12. CelticMan says:

    How many times can you no to this development?

  13. Dave says:

    Its the planning process, reject, re apply, redesign, reapply. Eventually something will pass. Problem with this site is the geography creates technical challenges which increases the costs or reduces profits and hence a tricky balance between number of boxes versus amount of work to make structurally safe.If you look back at Penarth Head from the barrage both before and after the heights developments it looked a mess. I think it looks like a new mess now and thus further boxes on the hillside wont make any difference anymore. On a site such as the heights and this it needs grand designs and not affordable houses or boxes. (though these won’t be affordable for tech reasons) I couldn’t afford to live there but for the sake of what you would expect it should be like inspirational.

  14. AK says:

    They mirror nicely the little boxes on the other side of the Tesco swing bridge, whose owners seem to think the pavement outside is their own personal parking space – and park with impunity.

  15. Chris David says:

    Well only 1 candidate out of 12 has declared opposition to the development. Paul Church independent. So we’ll have to assume the rest are pro little boxes. We’ve been told the Labour louts have been ordered NOT to comment on PDN. Or maybe few junior politico’s read PDN? What’s Doughty’s position? He lied to me recently promising me some answers but they never materialised despite a reminder. PDN do you have candidates email addresses? I’m sure they’d like them published in order they can circulate their views on so many matters that concern Penarth.

  16. Chris David says:

    Thank you NewsNet. Well if someone wont give email contact details maybe being on the council isn’t for them at! We already have too many slippery party line towing Sam’s.

  17. Chris David says:

    I asked the candidates that have published their email addresses their views on the Northcliffe proposed development and PACL. Those answering had a standpoint (although not a plan between them) except for Martin Turner who fudged.
    We have been actively campaigning against the Northcliffe development and I attended and spoke against it at the planning meeting in the Vale.
    I am shocked it has returned. Perhaps you should also ask the views of the unelected momentum group who make decisions on behalf of the town council and if candidates will abolish it. Chris Loyn who designed the Northcliffe development is a member. The chair is Martin Gossage.
    I attached one of the many leaflet distributed at Northcliffe.
    Anne Greagsby
    NO mention of PACL But ! see next
    Hello Christopher.
    Thank you for your message.
    We oppose the
    Northcliffe development.
    We believe PACL should be restructured. They are completely incompetent. There should also be an independent enquiry to find out how they have spent public money.
    Pier Pavilion needs better management!
    Aled Thomas and Anne Greagsby
    As chair of PTC planning committee I can inform you that we have already opposed this development in its present form and I see no reason to change that view.
    Re PACL this is a separate organisation and not under the control of either the Town nor the Vale.
    I would be opposed to the failure of either the Pier or the Pier Pavilion as they are iconic to the Town and a huge attraction for visitors which is good for the local economy. I would be keen to work to keep both the Pier and Pavilion as going concerns and will work to see both a resounding success
    Neil Thomas
    I am certainly against the North Cliffe development.
    I would vote against it.
    P.A.C.L. must be brought to account for their management of the Pier Pavilion and Cinema. I can’t believe that the present councillors haven’t insisted on this already.
    Other small towns have successful small cinemas we need to find out how they operate and study their expertise.
    Paul Church

    Dear Mr David
    Thank you for your email.
    Councillors are elected to represent the residents of their Ward.
    I’m fully aware of the concerns about the Northcliffe development but I’m not certain where we are in the planning process.
    Rest assured that after full consultation with the residents, I would make these views known to the Vale planning committee.
    Most planning applications are contentious and often planning officers recommendations differ from local views. The views of the community must be taken into account although objections will always need to be justified.
    As I’m sure you are aware, PACL is an independent registered business and a registered charity.
    While we are all concerned about the future of the Pier Pavillion, our ability to achieve change appears to be frustrated by the current Trustees. Obviously their problem is lack of income. What’s needed is a marketing strategy with Trustees with knowledge and experience to maximise income from this valuable resource. A ‘hostile take over’ is not feasible with PACL’s current corporate governance.
    Let’s keep up the public outrage and shame the Trustees to resign; I’m sure they are aware of their problems.
    Martin Turner
    Will you oppose the Northcliffe development? Will you vote for it?
    Do you intend to bring PACL to heel and demand the annual accounts and more importantly monthly management account / meeting minutes? What’s your plan for PACL?

    PACL we are informed were not- and are probably are not producing monthly management accounts. That is gross incompetence.
    1) The last accounts I could see online were 2015. I’m informed that PACL / VoG are holding back publication of the latest accounts until they’re forced to under company regulations. This if true is unacceptable. In any case the accounts will be out of date so management accounts need to be produced to the latest month of trading.
    2) The public (well its mandated body) need to see the supporting minutes of any management meetings and / or meeting between PACL and other bodies inc. VoG.
    3) Cllr Burnett and Cllr Courtney have stated in public there are facts they cannot divulge in public due the commercial confidentiality (LB) and for legal reasons (IC). This must be overcome. Its public money and the public should know how it’s spent. PACL / VoG need to demonstrate they are not hiding “irregularities”
    4) Stephen Doughty MP has done little else than discuss matters with PACL / VoG. He informs up PACL welcome help and input amongst other platitudes. This appears untrue (re PACL) and is just not good enough. It smacks of Labour looking after Labour. Mr Doughty should demand openness and engagement and not sit on his “superior establishment derriere” Maybe act as a bridge?
    5) Having spoken to Mr Rapier I understand there are deep underlying complications both fiscal and political behind this whole debacle. I personally don’t have knowledge or understanding of these but again they should be brought into the open to assist future planning.
    6) My view is that one body with a public mandate should engage with PACL / VoG. The agenda may be broadly be as follows.
    a) Full relative audit. To be really constructive this should not just be the cinema but * may include the café and pavilion hall- “The Complex”.
    b) Discuss a new organisation to run the Cinema.
    c) Discussion as to whether there should be a management body to manage the entire pier complex. The public hall. The Café. The cinema. Each having its own budget and plan but with an overall business plan to integrate the three potential revenue centres.
    d) A Business plan produced to (of course) encompass a professional management structure put in place that will have a clear objectives and modus operandi. Management accounts must be produced every month. Management meetings should take place very month with full minutes recorded. In other words run it as a business.
    *I say may because as stated I’ve learned there is a lot more to this than is immediately apparent. This is no more than a few “standard practice” suggestions.

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