Although Penarth Town Council is not due to consider amended plans for the development of the St Paul’s Church site until next week, contractors have already turned up there to carry out ground tests.
The scheme is being proposed by WYG consultants on behalf of the social housing organisation the Newydd Housing Association.
The specialist firm, Terra Firma, is already carrying out what a PDN source understands are “compaction tests” on the site even though the latest version of the much amended planning application has yet to be approved .
Penarth Town Council’s planning committee postponed the discussion of the amended St Paul’s plans and re-scheduled it for March 15th .After Penarth Council has come to its view,the plans will then have be approved by the full Vale of Glamorgan planning committee – which is not due to meet until March 29th.
One of the areas of particular concern at the St Paul’s Church site is the front facade – or front wall – of the building .
This is proposed to be only part of the original building due to be retained in the apartment development.
It’s at the base of the front wall that surveyors have been digging away earth at the base of the front wall of St Paul’s next to the front wall of St Paul’s – evidently to try to establish just how deep the foundations go .
If the typical standards of Penarth’s Victorian builders are anything to go by, they surveyors have probably discovered the foundations are shallow.
One PDN source says that if the original foundations are not deep enough, the facade could become unstable when the rest of the building is demolished – and it too may have to come down.
St Paul’s was originally built in 1863 as a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel but burned down in 1905.
In 1906 St Paul’s was re-built – this time as an Anglican church and named “St Paul’s” . Several feet in height were chopped off the original finials and pinnacles on the front fascia of the building .
The front window was re-modelled and reduced in height – giving the structure its current awkward, ungainly and inelegant appearance.
St Paul’s was bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940 – but repaired. It was bought by the forerunner of Penarth Town Council – Penarth Urban District Council – in 1967.