“Anytime Fitness” is to be the name on the ground floor of the former Robert Smith car showrooms . The rest of the building is to be turned into apartments subject to planning permission

The name of the firm which is to operate the new gymnasium to be installed on the ground floor of the former Robert Smith car showroom is “Anytime Fitness” .

A planning application has been made to the Vale of Glamorgan Council to install new signage on the outside of the building which will include a sign over the door and a separate illuminated panel on the pavement to the right of the main entrance.

Work has been underway for several days on the interior of the building. All signs of its previous existence as a car showroom have now been removed, including the outside ramp which enabled cars to be driven to the first floor – and the initials “RS” on the keystone of the building (even though they are included in the architectural drawing).

As the name suggests – the new fitness centre will be in operation around the clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is due to open shortly. Anytime Fitness describes itself as “the largest co-ed gym chain in the world with nearly 3,500 branches” There are 130 clubs open in the UK with “a further 150 getting ready to launch”.


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . 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. sj11ashby11 says:

    This building should have been made into a desperately neededcar park….

    • Eyes and Ears says:

      It would not be a profitable business then.

    • Danny Oakentrode says:

      Then you should have bought it. You’d have had plenty of room to park, because I seriously doubt that anyone would pay to walk a quarter of a mile to Tesco Express.
      No serious commercial concern would spend a small fortune to convert the building to a car park without expecting a reasonable return. That is the reason it will not be a car park.

      • Matt says:

        Lack of parking is a serious handicap to Penarth businesses. Whilst Monty Smith would be a better location for a car park, one at Robert Smith would be a lot better than none. It can’t be more than a few minutes to the CO-OP.

        VOG should have made a compulsory purchase order on either of these sites a long time ago and done something that would benefit Penarth as a whole. You can’t always base decisions on maximising profit per square foot of land. That sort of thinking leaves you with a congested town, no parking, and businesses that can’t grow.

    • Plodder says:

      You’d need a taxi from the nearest shop to this site – especially if you’re carrying two bags of shopping. A daft suggestion from someone who obviously hasn’t walked this route.

      • St Augustine says:

        Wow! It’s no more than 2-3 minutes from the shops. You make it sound like a trek to the South Pole.

        There will always be more money made out of shops and houses but that doesn’t mean that all land should be used for this purpose. By your logic, every car park in the land should be built on.

      • Danny Oakentrode says:

        It is twenty minutes each way to the shops if you have mobility problems. You clearly do not have the same problems if you can do it in 2-3 minutes. Perhaps you don’t think elderly or disabled people should shop in the town centre? You may not have a physical disability, but you have no empathy for others, and that’s an emotional disability that is simple to resolve – start considering other people!

      • St Augustine says:

        Danny, you’re barking a t the moon here.

        1) It wasn’t a car park
        2) It isn’t going to be a car park – it will be a gym and flats
        3) Suggesting that a carpark would be a better than a gym and flats isn’t showing a lack of empathy for those with mobility issues. A carpark in this location (for visitors from out of town) could free-up parking spaces closer to shops for those who have mobility issues.

      • Danny Oakentrode says:

        Clearly you are not in the least embarrassed by your straw man assertions.
        To make a valid point, you should present counters to my argument, and not assume my viewpoint. Watch out for bullet points, because you shoot yourself in the foot when you stray from a logical response.
        Despite all of what you write, I have no objection to the proposal for gym and flats, but besides that, I believe it is entirely up to Ludlow Street Healthcare, the owners of the property, to determine what they do with the site to maximise the benefit to themselves and to the wider community. Having a fantasy ‘wish list’ when you do not have any claim on the site is childish thinking, and forcing anyone into an unprofitable venture (as proposed by Matt) through compulsory purchase (which is not easily accomplished anyway), is plainly silly.

    • sjleworthy says:

      Windsor road hasnt the capacity or structure to accommodate a carpark.

  2. Andrew Worsley says:

    I think you will find Sainsburys and the Coop are nearer than Tesco Express so that the shopping argument out of the window.

    • Danny Oakentrode says:

      Three hundred yards in each direction is a marathon for those with mobility problems. Why don’t you try it carrying two shopping bags, using a walking stick, and with a stone in one shoe to simulate what it is like for someone with a disability?
      The shopping argument is perfectly valid for some, even if it doesn’t affect the selfish and thoughtless individuals who consider it a dawdle.

    • Ralph says:

      Not if you wish to shop at Tesco Express.

  3. The Tax payer says:

    So what about parking for the members who will want to drive to the place to keep fit 😹 Never mind if it ends up with flats above. Then you really will need a car park for them all. 👍😂

  4. penarthblog says:

    As someone who has mobility problems, a car park on the Monty Smith site would be very useful as it’s relatively close to shops, unfortunately as has been seen on this and other sites, there is opposition to such an idea.

  5. Plodder says:

    Bold words, but I’m willing to bet that, if any of you parked down by the Windsor, across the road from the site in question, and went shopping in the rain, you would soon change your mind. Furthermore, if you had to push a wheelchair up the incline to the town centre, you would soon take a different view.
    Anyway, if you’re all so able-bodied and fit, why don’t you just walk to the shops anyway?
    Lots of talk, but I challenge you all to park near that site and carry two bags of shopping from Sainsburys.

  6. Tim Hughes says:

    Because it was a car showroom and contained cars there seems to be a suggestion it could easily be a multistorey car park. It can’t. Multistorey car parks require all sorts of infrastructure, suitable ramps, petrol traps, ventilation, higher live loading etc. If there was to be a multistorey car park on this site it might be necessary to clear the site and start again. At least the current plan is to retain the existing frontage.

  7. Danny Oakentrode says:

    Lots of thoughtless people saying how easy it is to walk a few hundred yards. Yet these are the same thoughtless people who take the car to the town centre to get milk, and complain that they can’t park anywhere.
    Double standards abound! If you’re able-bodied, then WALK!! Don’t take up valuable parking spaces. Just park a few hundred yards away, or better still, don’t take the car at all, and WALK! (Followed by the usual cop-outs, such as ‘in my job, I don’t have the time to walk to the shops’, etc…) They don’t even see the irony in what they are suggesting – ‘You make it sound like a trip to the South Pole’. For some people, it is a huge obstacle. Shopping is a real expedition. Unbelievable selfishness and hypocrisy.

  8. Dr. Strangeglove says:

    It is obvious to me that a car park this far away from the shops is of absolutely no use to the people who actually need it.

    • Hamish Munnypenny says:

      …and parking in the town centre is hogged by a lot of people who don’t actually need it.

    • Hamish Munnypenny says:

      …including those who park on the bus stops opposite W.H.Smith and outside Mint and Mustard, and on the zigzag lines for both zebra crossings, on double yellow lines on Plassey Street and Herbert Terrace, on pavements anywhere…

    • Dr. Strangeglove says:

      …and want to drive the car, saving their legs, to the gym, where they strive to get fit. The absurdity of this scenario doesn’t seem to filter through their thought processes.

  9. Richie Griffiths says:

    It would be interesting to know what the parking provision is for the gym element of this redevelopment. Local residents have already raised issues about this, and living by the “Wellbeing” centre in Harriet Street, those concerns are well founded. Try parking near your home most evenings due to the littering of 4x4s, even when there’s a free car park at the Leisure Centre just around the corner!

    • Danny Oakentrode says:

      This area already has visitor parking for the Windsor and the police station. I doubt that it will cause the same problems as those that occur in Cogan, which is more congested anyway.

  10. Birkett says:

    If the people who are going to use the gym cycled or walked there, it wouldn’t need to be a gym as they’d all get fit two repeating the journey.
    It could then open as a nice big cake shop.

  11. nathanmanning88 says:

    If you look at Penarth as a town it will never grow for a few reasons! Firstly its in close proximity to the Capital city of Wales! There are few places to park! That needs addressing but it needs to be in the right location! The shopping choices are awful! Investor shops such as Next, New Looks, Burtons which occupy any decent high street will unlikely feature in penarth mostly because all the coffin dodgers protest about anything of reasonable quality making an appearance and therfore the town will never command the footfall required to warrant a car park in the eyes of the VOG! We need good business to invest in the town! If that comes in the form of a gym then great! Its hardly a nightclub and its keeping people fit and healthy! Plus its providing jobs! Why are so many so dismissive of great potential!

    • Plodder says:

      An astonishing display of business ignorance, Nathan, and clearly, someone who doesn’t really know or understand Penarth.
      The so-called ‘coffin dodgers’ to which you disparagingly refer are those most likely to support local businesses. It is certainly NOT the majority younger influx of car driving, socially mobile newcomers who loyally support existing shops – they simply drive to out-of-town superstores and supermarkets, because they can’t find anywhere to park for ten minutes to buy a loaf of bread.
      Penarth town centre was built to accommodate pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages. For decades, civic-minded individuals and groups, and traders, have racked their brains to come up with ideas for car parking – all have been unsuccessful. There was simply no provision for car parking when buildings were originally built, which was a long time before you or I were born. But you can’t just make those buildings vanish so you can put your car there instead.
      If a car park were possible, it would have to accommodate up to 200 vehicles within a few minutes walk of Windsor Road. Which empty space would you suggest to fulfil such criteria?
      From a commercial point of view, if businesses such as those you cited saw any advantage in opening in Penarth, they would have moved to one of the many vacant premises that have been available over the years.
      All of your rant shows a lack of grasp of the subject of running profitable business, a lack of local knowledge and history, and a lack of understanding in the stores you referenced, which would probably sink without trace here.
      Plenty of furious typing without thought.

      • nathanmanning88 says:

        You are absolutely right! You have typed your heart out with no thought!
        Shopping / OOTS – largely replaced with online shopping! High street shops recently reported a decline in footfall due to online sales! Comparison! Penarth shopping – Charity Shops, Funeral Parlours and Shops that sell mixed purpose items of poor quality or shops that sell items at extortionate prices! ‘RIP’ off merchants! Car Parking – its rubbish but who needs to use a car in Penarth? Use a train, bus, bike or walk or if you really want to invest in that horse drawn carriage! I walk to town if i need anything!
        The only schemes that get support in Penarth are the waste of money schemes like the cinema on the pier! Penarth head and so on! Pointless schemes! Give the younger generation what we want! A vibrant town with shops, bars, cafes and businesses that are worth our money! Not charity shops and funeral parlours- a load of rubbish! Our town is ran by old farts that try and put the boot in on anything decent or remotely interesting happening!

      • Plodder says:

        I see exactly what you mean, but you are a typical unworldly desk jockey seemingly intent on proving that you have a limited experience of real life.
        There are no old codgers blocking shops. The reason the businesses on your wish list (despite your TK Maxx tastes) do not set up in Penarth is because it is a relatively small dormitory town a few miles outside a busy capital city. Why have two shops struggling to serve the same people when you only need one, and can reduce running costs? If they thought they’d make money, you can absolutely guarantee they’d be here trading.
        You want shops that are worth your money? Perhaps you don’t understand how much it costs to set up and run a business successfully, but no one will take the risk for customers like you, who don’t want to pay what is being asked. Get real!
        I thought very carefully how I worded my comment, and just because you have a childish tantrum and disagree with my points, you assume I didn’t give you the attention you wanted. Well, you’re wrong, and wrong about a lot of other things too.
        You come across as a whingeing, immature adolescent. Try writing a letter to Santa Claus for your wish list, instead of blaming everyone else because you can’t have your ideal place. If you don’t like it you have choices – stand for council, start your own business, or move, for a start. It’s no good complaining about the rest of the world if you are sitting on your hands and moaning.

      • nathanmanning88 says:

        We need less people like yourself and more people with a grip of reality! Penarth will never grow because people like yourself always moan and try and block anything remotely decent in the town! In terms of my job why is that of concern to you? I have a very well paying career and a great education! Just sick of people always moaning about something new and trying to live their lifes in the past.

      • Dr. Strangeglove says:

        Don’t you realise that if ‘high street shops recently reported a decline in footfall due to online sales’, they are not going to pay their bills if they lower their prices to suit you? This kind of dreamy outlook isn’t viable. I assume you do not run a retail business?

      • nathanmanning88 says:

        So hiking prices will increase footfall?

      • Dr. Strangeglove says:

        How do you suppose they cover their bills? When they don’t charge enough, they close, when they put their prices up, it is to cover their outgoings. It’s not rocket science!

    • Plodder says:

      Incidentally, I very much welcome the development of this site, and by a commercial concern that has proved to be successful due to very sound strategic investment.
      A gym will benefit the town greatly.

    • Danny Oakentrode says:

      Nathan, your first sentence cannot be backed up with any evidence. In fact, history shows the opposite – that Penarth has grown for more than 150 years, and continues to grow, expanding into Lower Penarth, the Cowslip, Cosmeston, Cogan Farm, Penarth Heights (and before that the Billybanks), Uppercliff, the Paddocks, Brockhill Way, Northcliffe and Mariners Heights, the Marina… and probably some I have left out.
      The whole basis of the argument is incorrect.

      • nathanmanning88 says:

        Growth needs to happen both commercially and domestically! So when you can provide evidence of that i will have the conversation! Essentially the point is the gym is happening and therefore everyone who opposes the idea can go and wallow in their homes about it! Its about time something decent came to Penarth! Fed up of charity shops, funeral homes, hair dressers, tacky shops, rip off merchants, a part time post office thats only open until 12pm! The desire to keep services like the pier pavilion cinema running, the waverley boat that would be better replaced with a ferry service or similar! We need to get with the times and stop trying to preserve the past!

      • Danny Oakentrode says:

        If you don’t like Penarth, why are you here? People come from all over the UK to settle here because Penarth offers so many positives, but you don’t like it. I feel sorry for you.

    • Hamish Munnypenny says:

      I find it impossible to take seriously anybody who regards Next, New Look and Burtons as representative of ‘quality’. What happened to Top Shop, Matalan and Primark from the list?

      • nathanmanning88 says:

        We can add those to the list too!

      • Plodder says:

        And where in Penarth, do you suppose, they would open their stores? Any of these companies would need stores larger than anything here at the moment, and would need at least thirty staff to operate. To employ so many, and to be viable, they would need to have hundreds of customers every day, spending at least £30k every day.
        They’re not interested in ANY town with a population under 100,000, and all your wishful thinking is completely unrealistic.
        Perhaps you want TK Maxx to open up in a tent outside your home, but you have to promise to spend at least £1m a year and let the staff use your toilet and kitchen.

    • Quality Control says:

      If you, in all seriousness – though I suspect your posts are a spoof – hold up ‘investor shops such as Next, New Looks [sic] Burtons [sic]’ as being worthy occupants of ‘any decent high street’, then our conversation will have to stop there.

      • Hamish Munnypenny says:

        He was having an irrational rant, bewailing all the others having irrational rants. Probably tired and not thinking straight. It wasn’t funny enough to be a spoof.

  12. Sue@56 says:

    I reckon a good place for a car park is the frontage of West House which seems to me to be a waste of use of this large plot with very uninteresting and unnecessary planting. It is not very far to walk to town centre and would benefit traders in cornerswell road and station area.

    • Hamish Munnypenny says:

      How about Alexandra Park with all that space and so many unnecessary trees and plants? Perhaps we could encourage citizens to give up their front gardens for the common good?

      • Quality Control says:

        Yes, it seems outrageous that any greenery remains in the town when it could be flattened with concrete for parking.

  13. Plodder says:

    I can see now that you don’t pay any attention to anything that anyone else has written. You just want to moan, but you have nothing to contribute. You have no idea about how a business operates, and expect everyone to cater to you, even though there’s nothing in it for them. You are a spoiled little boy who can’t get his way, and is kicking his toys out of the pram.
    If you take the trouble to read what I wrote, you will see that I said I was in favour of the gym as an asset to the town. Somehow, you have contrived to read this as a complaint against anything new!
    I don’t see great education from you – I see hotheaded whinger who sits at a keyboard complaining. You show little evidence of a ‘great education’ when you lack basic comprehension skills. Back to school, Nathan lad, or stick your head in a bucket to cool down. The world doesn’t revolve around you, especially when you do nothing to change it. Keyboard warrior!

    • nathanmanning88 says:

      When you are brave enough to come from behind your keyboard drop me a message and ill gladly talk to you over a coffee! But i cant keep replying to these messages for a good reason! I have a job! I am busy and i dont have time for idiots like yourself who call people names from behind a screen! Like the old saying goes say it to my face or keep your mouth shut! The gym is a great asset to the town! Its a shame about most of the residents! They complain about car parking and anything else they can moan about! We call it the Penarth bubble! The day you start living in the real world is the day you wake up and realise a few home truths.

      • Plodder says:

        As I have stated, you don’t read anything that anyone else has written. Any conversation, over a coffee or whatever, would be equally fruitless because you don’t pay attention to anyone else.
        Incidentally, I have a job, and I work varied shift patterns, so you are not the only one who has other commitments.
        I will point out though, that I have 25 years of experience in retail management, and presently run a business offering security personnel for corporate events, which means I have to keep fit, so I will see you at the gym, once it is open, to say it to your face if that is what you’d prefer.

      • nathanmanning88 says:

        No i have heard you! You are in agreement its a sound investment! You however jumped on my back when i mentioned coffin dodgers! Im not taking that back!There are many people in this town that are ungrateful! That garage was left to deteriorate and there were no mention of it! As soon as someone expresses an interest everyone crawls out of the wood work and complains about parking and so on.
        With regards to the security business! If your making indirect threats by hinting you know people then look you’ve got the wrong end of the stick! Im not here to fight anyone! I didn’t go to university and study for a degree and masters degree and work hard to throw it away for someone who thinks he’s indispensable. I probably wont be changing my gym so i doubt you will see me! Ufit is on another level from anything i have seen so it would he silly to move! Like i said if you’ve something to say thats a personal attack on me then you can come to that gym and ill help you keep fit for this security firm you are running.

      • Plodder says:

        Oh boy! …And you think everyone else is in a bubble?

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