The Leader of Penarth Town Council – Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) has applied to the Vale of Glamorgan Council to renew permission to build a modernist box-shaped two-storey dwelling in the heart of the Penarth Conservation Area.
The proposed new house -would be erected in the grounds of Cllr Cuddy’s classic Victorian villa in Paget Place and would be inserted into a row of similar properties.
The contemporary-style house was designed by local architect Chris Loyn former president of the Penarth Civic Society – who is well-known for his cutting-edge designs. [Mr Loyn is also responsible for the design of the ultra-modern 30-apartment “Northcliff Lodge” development – which it is proposed to build immediately across the road from Cllr Cuddy’s Victorian villa in Paget Place]
Cllr Cuddy is the Leader of the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council and is also deputy chairman of the Penarth Town Council planning committee – the body that makes recommendations to the Vale of Glamorgan Council on all planning applications made in the town.
Back in the year 2012, when Cllr Cuddy’s scheme was first submitted, Penarth Town Council was (at that time) controlled by the Conservative Party and its planning committee RECOMMENDED REFUSAL of Cllr Cuddy’s plan.
Penarth Town Council’s planning committee told the Vale of Glamorgan Council in February 2012 that the building which Cllr Cuddy wanted to erect at Paget Place would be:-
- “out of keeping with the surrounds”
- “an incongruous and overly dominant development” and would
- “harm the integrity and appearance of the street scene to the detriment of residential amenities as well as the character and appearance of the Conservation Area”
Cllr Cuddy’s plan also ran into opposition from Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Conservation Advisory Group – the body which advised the council on all conservation matters.
The Vale of Glamorgan Conservation Advisory Group ALSO RECOMMENDED REFUSAL of the application. In a report to the Vale Council the advisory group said it said the scheme :-
- did not “harmonise with the existing street scene”
- was on the existing “building line” [ i.e. the modern building would be inserted within the existing line of Victorian frontages] and…
- the design “represented an overly dominant form of development”.
Cllr Cuddy’s application was set to be decided upon by a “delegated” Vale Council planning officer rather than being discussed at a full Vale Council planning committee.
In May 2012 he Labour Party came into power in both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Town Council – and Cllr Cuddy was ensconced as Leader of Penarth Town Council.
In June 2012 the now Labour-controlled Vale Council planning committee considered the Vale Conservation Committee’s Advisory Report [ which recommended rejection of Cllr Cuddy’s application] and only noted it – without taking any action.
The application was then formally APPROVED by the “delegated” Vale Planning officer who over-rode the opposition of the Vale Conservation Advisory Committee and of the old Conservative administration in Penarth Town Council and allowed the development to go ahead, the only caveat being that there should be “landscaping to soften the impact of the development.”
As with most planning applications, the standard condition was imposed, requiring that work should begin within 5 years of the granting of planning permission.
In the event however, that 5 year period has now expired – with no work having started – and the 2012 planning permission has now expired.
For this reason Cllr Cuddy and his wife have now had to lodge a formal application to revive the lapsed and expired planning application and are requesting an EXTENSION OF THE PLANNING DEADLINE.
Despite the tangled history of this proposal – and the “incongruous” impact on the Penarth Conservation Area which Penarth Town Council said in 2012 that it would have – the matter is still due to be dealt with only by a “delegated” Vale Council planning officer and will not come before the full Vale of Glamorgan planning committee unless it is formally “called-in” by a local councillor.
….So far, no local councillor has made that move.