Penarth Town Council is to recommend refusal of a planning application to convert the disused cellar of the former British Legion building in Station Approach into a new restaurant.
The application has been made by DS Holdings (Penarth) Ltd which is asking for “change of use” of the ground floor and cellar of the former British Legion building from what’s called “sui-generis” use [ i.e. unique use by the Legion] to Class A3 [restaurant] use.
The upper floors of the former British Legion building have already been converted into suites of up-market offices – and the developers were keen to find a new use for part of the ground floor and the basement cellar.
In the normal course of events, such applications would normally considered by councillors in a meeting of the full Penarth Town Council planning committee. However, this application was one of 3 which were considered only by the chairman of the planning committee, Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines), and the vice-chairman of the planning committee Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) who is also Leader of the council.
Cllrs Humphrey and Cuddy said in their observations that “Given the proximity of residential areas, the uncertainties regarding rights of way/ access and the discrepancies regarding the internal plan it is recommended [ to the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning department] that the application be REFUSED until or unless the issues addressed are resolved”.
No other members of the Penarth Town Council planning committee were involved making this recommendation, nor in subsequently endorsing it – as is the usual procedure.
The final decision will be made by a “delegated ” planning officer in the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning department – and will not be further considered by Vale councillors unless it is “called in” by one of them .
Prior to this week’s Penarth Town Council planning committee (the first since the August break), 7 planning applications had already been determined on a “delegated” basis by the Town Clerk and 3 planning applications had already been determined by the “Chair and Vice Chair” .
This left no planning applications at all to be considered by the full (and nominally 8-member ) Penarth Town Council planning committee and – by default – excluded the input of its 2 Conservative members .