An artistic impression of what the former Robert Smith car showroom would look like when converted into flats

Pre-planning consultations are being carried out on a scheme to convert the former Robert Smith car showroom in Windsor Road, Penarth into luxury flats.

The scheme is being carried out by C2J Architects and would create 12 apartments in the former car showroom – which is one of the largest-volume buildings in Penarth.

The design creates an interior open air atrium within the curtilage

The new plans involve not only altering the building, but extending it and creating an interior courtyard.

Al full planning application has not yet been submitted  . The landlords of the building is a local company Ludlow Street Healthcare  – a Cardiff-based 1,000 employee company named by its founder after the street in which he grew up – Ludlow Street , Penarth.

The former Robert Smith car showroom was originally built for Moorwell Motors

Two years ago the Cardiff-based Ludlow Street Investment Corporation – a private-equity investment business operating around the world –  applied for a “certificate of  lawfulness”  for proposed A1  retail use of the site – which was granted  – but clearly there has now been a change of plan for the property.

There has been speculation for months about the future of the site which is – potentially –  one of the largest units  in Penarth.

Arsonists lit a fire outside the building in July 2014 but there was no serious damage

The building has been empty  since being vacated in May 2014  by car dealer Robert Smith (a son of the well known Penarthian – the late Monty Smith) .

In July 2014 arsonists started a fire at the side of the building amongst a stack of dumped car mats left outside but there was no serious damage.






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  1. sjleworthy says:

    flats? doesn’t surprise me. wonder if the council still insisting on a social elephant in the room?

  2. BigpooSki says:

    Looks nice

  3. Philip Rapier says:

    Overjoyed! The World is My Lobster as the late Arthur Daly would have said (Daly Auto’s-MOTs arranged -Special Mileages catered for)
    We need to keep the Town Centre up to a very high standard and the flats will be a snip at easily £250k each for a one bedroom and up to a cool million for the penthouse suite.
    Great news then although I do have some reservations as firstly the structure proposed appears to be designed by a Window Cleaner rather than an architect. I also confess that I am a little sad as this clearly shatters my dream that we would one day aspire to have- like Barry /Sully- our very own Waitrose- on this site.
    One senses the Vale Planners are drooling over this already. However one would have hoped the Architects could aspire to something more aesthetically pleasing and retain the facade which has that delightful neo classical, part exchanged, friend of the motorist appearance.
    Perhaps the addition of tasteful townscape art such as a statue of the great Arthur Daly on the forecourt would enhance the project aesthetically as one drove or should I say crawled past down the frog and toad to Tesco.

    • Tim Hughes says:

      What part of the facade isn’t it retaining?

    • Peter Church says:

      The home of Mr S. A. Brain, which was Roxburgh in Penarth. A very nice and elegant mansion with substantial grounds. Sadly, Roxburgh Court Garden was built on this land when the mansion was demolished. Many were appalled at the less than aesthetically pleasing boxes that took its place. The price of a property there now a cool 1/2 million!
      So, you will have to drive to Waitrose in Barry to buy your POTS and KETTLES.

  4. Ben says:

    Shame. Would have made a great cinema/art space. Maybe the community could use the building in the interim for such an enterprise? Would fill a gap in the town’s cultural landscape.

  5. Big Davey says:

    Seems rather sad to lose this central potential amenity for Penarth to even more flats.

    When every shop and commercial building has been converted into flats where will people shop, meet, dine, cogitate, dance and listen to music. People will then start to move out of Penarth.

  6. Matthew says:

    Great even more flats just what Cardiff and the surrounding area needs! Why don’t they knock it down and build some quality Victorian looking family homes that are in keeping with the other houses around Penarth.

    This is just a case of cram in as many properties as possible and make some cash.

  7. Max Wallis says:

    frontage “designed by a Window Cleaner rather than an architect”. Completely out-of-scale in the street-scene. Shame on a lad from Ludlow Street, into maximises spec development profits and have no feeling for his town of birth.

  8. Dizzydeb says:

    That blends in really well and will add to the morning queue out of Prnarth so it should go through planning no problem!!

  9. Mark Foster says:

    Philip Rapier that is very funny writing. Why don’t you write a satirical social soap about this anachronism called Penarth and present it to the BBC? I think they would absolutely jump at it as it fits in so well with their propagandist agenda for the UK. I think it could surpass Minder in its hilarity and popularity especially with our masters in the chattering classes in Islington.

  10. Penelope Pitstop says:

    Looks good to me, Street scene virtually unchanged, environmentally friendly using the existing building. Easy walk to Dingle Road station.

  11. mikeyorke says:

    I wonder how many car parking spaces will be allocated per flat? Doubtful it’ll be enough so parking around the area will become even worse.

    It looks pleasent enough though and really was the only way it was going in terms of its future use……much the same as what will probably happen to the old petrol station up the road.

    • Anne Greagsby says:

      12 flats – one car parking space required per bedroom so that could be at least 24 …should add to the congestion problems mornings,Shame they cant keep the existing facade. The bulk and height are overwhelming.

  12. cogan nomen says:

    I recommend a multi-storey building to accommodate the ample parking facility existent .

  13. Frank Evans says:

    Turn it into a large house for homeless Syrians.
    If there is any space leftover use it as a food bank.

    • Lucie says:

      No!what about the poor people of our town,who got no where to live,Charity begins at home.

  14. lynda garner says:

    At least they’re doing something with the building, not leaving it to rot. THey are keeping the front facade (although some of these comments say they’re not). It looks a lot better than the recently built “box” in Victoria Road, the planning dept. have a lt to answer to.

  15. AK says:

    Block of flats for rent no doubt !

Comments are closed.