Former Penarth councillor  Phillip Rapier – axed from Penarth Town Council by the Labour Party – has now revealed the full details to the penny of the  “Section 106” cash requirement which the Vale Council now expects the developers of Northcliffe Lodge tyo pay.

Former Mayor of Penarth – and a former Labour councillor –  Philip Rapier has used a Freedom of Information request to confirm the details    of the Section 106 cash to be paid by developers to the Vale of Glamorgan Council to allow work to start on the  controversial 30-apartment scheme at Northcliff Lodge.

Until May this year the outspoken Mr Rapier had represented Penarth’s St Augustines Ward on the Town Council – but evidently his independently-minded attitude fell foul of local Labour Party apparatchiks.

The Labour Party chiefs invented new “residency” rules which precluded Cllr Rapier from standing again in St Augustines  – ostensibly on the basis that his home is a couple of yards on the wrong side of the St Augustine’s Ward boundary.

Since the May election  in which he was not allowed to stand – Mr Rapier  has however continued to pay a close interest to developments in his former Ward – not least the controversial 30-apartment Northcliff Lodge development .He has now received a formal Freedom of Information response from the Vale of Glamorgan Council on the Northcliff Lodge development.

Mr Rapier had asked exactly how much Section 106 money did the Council currently expect, contractually , to receive from the developers of Northcliffe Lodge.

[PDN Note: Section 106 contributions are sums which developers are required to pay to local councils to mitigate the effects of their schemes. The money has to be used or the benefit of the community within the localities of  the specific development ]

The Vale Council formally responded as follows:-

“The Council’s Planning Committee recently recommended approval of an application at Northcliffe Lodge (reference: 2017/00541/FUL) for
“Demolition of existing dwelling and outbuilding, erection of 30 apartments, new access and alterations to adjacent parking area, replacement tree planting and landscaping and associated works (resubmission application)”.

The Planning Committee resolved to approve the application, subject to the interested person(s) first entering into a Section 106 Legal Agreement to include the following necessary planning obligations: –
• Provide an off-site contribution of £263,760 towards affordable housing;
• Pay a contribution of £36,240 towards community facilities to enhance
existing facilities within the ward; and
• to meet the planning obligations administrative fee of £6,000.”

These figures  – quoted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in the FoI response –  broadly tally with those which were quoted verbally at the September 2017 meeting of the Vale Council Planning Committee at which councillors reluctantly passed the Northcliff Lodge planning application. [see PDN report ]. 

What isn’t clear, from the council’s reply to Mr Rapier,  is whether the Northcliff Lodge developers have yet agreed to pay the required sums in order to proceed with the development .

A large number of trees are to be chopped down on the Northcliff Lodge site . The £1.25 million pound house Northcliff Lodge will be demolished – but, if any bats emerge on the site, work has to stop

Before any actual building work can start on the Northcliff Lodge site, the developers have to present to the council what’s called a “comprehensive geotechnical assessment”  – which is to be carried out to “manage the flood risk and ground stability issues in the interests of public health and safety”.

….And if any bats are found in or around the existing “retaining wall” of  “all works must cease immediately and remain ceased pending consultation with Natural Resources Wales, and details of the bats shall be reported to the Local Planning Authority in writing”




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  1. Chris David says:

    There are bats there and I’d like to know why this isn’t being proved BEFFORE any work starts. Do you really think there will be an honest independent assessment! although of course no one would drive the bats out in advance would they!

  2. Jane Foster says:

    There were bats and owls there aplenty for many many years until they all mysteriously went away during the last year or so. Very handy for any survey to not find any, isn’t it?

  3. AK says:

    The 21st century equivalent of the plain brown envelope.

  4. anne greagsby says:

    Really? The S106 agreement for 2015/00541/FUL has been on the vogonline.planning.register since 8th November, showing slight changes over that agreed at Committee in Sept.
    I didn’t notice Philip Rapier campaigning on Northcliffe, must have been a very silent campaign. .It was me and Aled Thomas from Plaid Cymru that campaigned against the Northcliffe development,that will destroy the stetting of our listed buildings, the loss of our green corridor, ancient trees and habitat for wild life including bats. Rapier organised a meeting re the PACL debacle but after collecting names never followed it up as promised!

    • The Tax payer says:

      Come Anne. Should it not read Myself and Aled and not Me and Aled ?? 👍. You really do need to get a new soap box to stand on. May I also ask do you now live in Penarth FULL time ??
      And should it not read Philip or Mr Rapier and not just Rapier ? Please show some respect for Penarth residents if you want them to vote for you. And by the way how long have you been a permanent resident in Penarth ?? 😎👍
      Go on. You know you really want to reply to the above

  5. Chris David says:

    A quick question in order we all know what the state of play is in case individuals want to take action. Have you reported in advance the fact there are bats, owls et al on the site Ms Greagsby? Anyone? Surely Natural Resources Wales should be investigating in advance! Leaving it to the developers or their agents is madness. Who is carrying our the various surveys? I know there are bats and owls there. Let’s keep PACL and politics out of this and remain focused on the single issue.

  6. Max Wallis says:

    The Vale Council is pretty good at putting documents on the Planning site- they posted up the S.106 Agreement the day after I asked. What might need a Freedom-of-Information request is to get from the VoG the NRW letter and independent Bat specialist’s report – which they decided to ignore.
    That report inspected some of the trees on site, finding numbers of potential bat roosts. The DCE consultants who’d claimed to have inspected all trees and found none suitable for bat roosts, were shown to be wrong. DCE said they’d followed Bat Conservation Trust guidelines in inspecting all the trees from the ground, but showed no evidence. In fact the thick vegetation and ivy cover prevented adequate inspection for potential roosts.
    NRW wrote to FoE:
    “Our protected species team has reviewed the report. The report concluded that the site has features suitable for roosting bats and we would not challenge those findings.”

    The independent registered Bat specialist also recorded numerous bats foraging on the edge of the woodland in September. It was too late in the season to find evidence of breeding, though residents of Northcliffe apartments have reported seeing babies being taught to forage.
    Since the previous Lodge owner sold up and moved out last Spring, the bats have returned though not yet back to previous numbers. Any bat-scaring devices are now not operating.

    If you want NRW to intervene, address Lindy Marshall at NRW South East Planning who wrote to me for FoE Barry&Vale on 29 Nov, ref. NRW:01181717:
    “Members determined to approve the application subject to a 106 legal agreement. The wording of a condition is a decision for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, they have not requested advice from us regarding the three ‘tests; under the Habitats Regulations.”
    ……interpreted as…. ff the Planning Committee Members were influenced by the developer’s fraudulent report, that’s up to the VoG Council and the bats can go hang.

  7. cogan nomen says:

    I’d love to take a baseball bat
    To a council meeting .

  8. KEITH HARVEY says:

    When the trees at the Marina were decimated to “avoid a landslip”,( nothing to do with providing a view for the Crest Nicholson houses ) we were told that a bat survey was unnecessary. Less than 12 months later we had a huge landslip. Why can’t Vale be consistent and honest about the reasons for allowing/ disallowing building and its possible consequences.

  9. Chris David says:

    DCE being the Design and Construction Group?
    To the VoG 04/12/2017
    This is a Freedom-of-Information request to the Vale of Glamorgan Council. I would like a copy of the NRW letter and independent Bat specialist’s report you have in relation to the Northcliffe lodge development in Penarth CF64.
    Thank you.

    Christopher David. You can send by email or the contact details as per the FOI form filled in on-line.

  10. Chris David says:

    To David Clements of DCE Consultants- member here.
    Dear Mr Clements, can you help us clear up a few points relating to bat conservation please.
    Are you or have you yourself or through CDE Consulting or any other body or medium advised the developers of Northcliffe Lodge Penarth?
    Have you advised them there is no evidence of Bats?
    Will you recommend to the developers of Northcliffe Lodge they can obtain a license to destroy a bat roost or roosts if they require one?
    Have you ever personally or through DCE Consultants or any other medium advised any person or body in the past that they can obtain a license to destroy a bat roost?
    Thank you.
    C David
    Sent to David Clements via Facebook 06/12/17

  11. Chris David says:

    Dear Mr David

    Thank you for your email. I can confirm that we did carry out surveys at Northcliffe Lodge. However, I am not able to release any reports to you as these were confidential to the client who commissioned them.

    Any reports which are in the public domain should be available from the planning authority, although please note these may not always be the most recent versions.

    Yours sincerely,
    David Clements

    David Clements BSc CBiol MRSB MCIEEM FRES David Clements Ecology Ltd Carlton House
    5 Herbert Terrace
    Glamorgan, CF64 2AH

    Tel: 029 20 350120
    Fax: 029 20 711997
    Facebook Page: – FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK!
    Here is the reply. I have thanked Mr Clements for his candour.

  12. Chris David says:

    FYI here are the contact details of the parties concerned. Sam Courtney ; Chris Loyn ; Darren Badham ; Rhian Thomas .

  13. Chris David says:

    Further dialogue with Mr D Clements of DCE, reverse order. Who will take this up?
    Dear Mr Clements,

    The words appropriate, mitigation, compensation and strategies are all subjective and very worrying in the context of the development of this site.

    How do these words apply to the loss of trees, undergrowth, the general loss of habitat to such species as bats, Tawny Owls et al? This area is fully developed and we Sapiens along with our fellow inhabitants of the earth need what little green is left in areas such as Northcliffe.

    So we are to trust the developer! Of course we should!
    There should be no developer and mitigation is a hilarious term to use. Given the content of your reply I will be asking why your company should be in a position to influence the VoG and the public. You work for the developer and so can’t be truly “independent” ( a word I use with advice) as demonstrated by the fact you refuse to publish the reports! Why? What are you and the developer hiding? An entirely independent survey should be undertaken and given the ecological importance of this site the development should be stopped- as it was until the cabal got together for a second attack.

    I’m all for developing brown field sites before we decimate yet more of the overcrowded Vale, but this is no brownfield site. The planning department in the VoG needs an “audit”

    There- that should give the team a chortle.

    But thank you for your candour.


    C David.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: David []
    Sent: 06 December 2017 15:38
    To: ‘Christopher David’
    Cc: ‘Sam Courtney’ ; ‘Chris Loyn’ ; ‘Darren Badham’ ; ‘Rhian Thomas’
    Subject: 2017-12-06 Northcliffe Lodge, Penarth

    Dear Mr David

    Please let me assure you that adequate and appropriate surveys were indeed undertaken at this site. Appropriate mitigation and compensation strategies were recommended on the basis of the survey findings, and these are being taken on board by the developer.

    Yours sincerely,
    David Clements

    David Clements BSc CBiol MRSB MCIEEM FRES David Clements Ecology Ltd Carlton House
    5 Herbert Terrace
    Glamorgan, CF64 2AH

    Tel: 029 20 350120
    Fax: 029 20 711997
    Facebook Page: – FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK!

  14. Max Wallis says:

    Condition 13 requires the developer to carry out the “Biodiversity Strategy” (written by David Clements Ecology,June 2016). That says
    2.12 If, at any point during the proposed works on site bats are found all work will cease. Advice will then be sought from the supervising ecologist on how to proceed. This advice may include that all work cease and a derogation from NRW is sought.

    Yet, DCE already reported Bats foraging in the clearing around the Lodge. Clearing the trees and demolishing the Lodge would inevitably damage/destroy that feeding ground. So why not be honest and say that a derogation (license) needs to be sought from NRW from the outset? Perhaps DCE made a mistake, intending “bat roosts” rather than “bats are found….”, as that wording is used in the Council’s wording of Condition 13.

    Then we can ask – who is the supervising ecologist? The Vale officers have agreed to – what a surprise – David Clements Ecology. A reward for loyalty to the developer rather than the law protecting Bat feeding and breeding grounds.

    The requirement for a derogation is triggered just by the ‘presence’ of bats on the development site the “three requirements for derogation (are triggered) where a European protected species is present” (says planning law – Planning Policy Wales 5.5.12). . Use of the trees for breeding roosts or just regular presence for feeding would surely count. NRW is the legal authority – I’ve asked how much more evidence they need…. doubtless clamour from local people who attest to the importance as a bat habitat will help, so here’s the contact again: Lindy Marshall at NRW South East Planning ref.Northcliffe Lodge, Penarth, NRW:01181717:

  15. Chris David says:

    I’ve tried to find an email address for a relevant NRW dept and have failed let alone been able to find one for Lindy Marshall. This appears to be a smoke screen. When I rang them they were terribly unprofessional. At first the phone was answered a “hello” (pause) and it turned out to be some unrelated (and rather clueless) civil servant, When I did get through to someone “relevant” the chap answering was very negative and vague. Invokes no confidence. Rave on about no manpower to check attics!! Do you have an email address? Snail mail only is a delaying tactic.

  16. Max Wallis says:

    Try Direct line is I guess 03000 653091,
    The ref. she gave me was South East Planning, NRW:01181717
    The Vale”s latest excuse is that tree felling is not licensable, Now their Ecologist has evidence that DCE consultants made false claims over bat roosts in the trees being unlikely, she should go along and look for herself. And agree that bats have been found, so stop all work pending consideration of a license under the Habitats Regs, and Countryside &Wildlife Act.
    The NRW could simply say Bats “are present” on the site, as local people and DCE consultants agree. The site is highly frequented by foraging bats, even if they roost elsewhere, . Bats were proved to be “present” over 2016 and 2017 summers up to late Sept., which is enough to trigger the requirement for a stop to all work pending an NRW license.

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