It’s emerged that the Vale of Glamorgan Council is set to receive so-called Section 106 cash amounting to only £7,650 after giving permission to developers to knock down one of Penarth’s most spectacular Victorian mansions “The Highlands”.
The Vale Council had given the go ahead to flatten The Highlands in March last year – when the authority was still under Labour control .
Conservatives opposed the demolition but at the time – before the 2017 elections – Labour councillors held the majority on the Vale planning committee.
The house is a classic Penarth shipowner’s mansion which overlooks the River Ely from a position high above the “Gateway to Penarth” .
The plan is to build 11 new dwellings on the site – 8 of which will be detached houses and 3 of which will be a terrace of “affordable housing” – 2 of which would be regarded in perpetuity as “social” and one of which will be designated as “intermediate”.
The house can best be seen when coming along the Ely Link Road Bridge from Cardiff Bay. For many years it was completely obscured by trees ‘ so much so that the team which compiled the official list of “County Treasures” [ architectural gems of the Vale of Glamorgan] didn’t even realise it was there .
The mansion only became visible relatively recently when the trees were removed. The house, on the hard-to-get-to Old Barry Road, has an imposing conical-roofed turret with a balcony giving views over a 270 degree panorama.
Opponents of the demolition say the mansion is part of the heritage of Penarth and should be preserved – particularly in view of the paltry amount that will go to the Vale Council when it is demolished.