The plan was to renovate the top floor of the Kymin and its loft and convert it into 3 holiday-let apartments. The rest of the building would remain available for public meetings and activities

A Penarth Town Council’s plan to make money by developing and renting out 3 holiday-let flats on the top floor of the Kymin on Beach Road, has been kyboshed because the place is just “too dangerous”.     

Councillors went along to the Kymin to look around the now-vacant top floor and establish whether it is viable to “up-grade” it  – but they seem to have been somewhat taken aback by what they found.

The Kymin grounds have been awarded a “Green Flag” and it was considered that the holiday flats on the top floor of the Kymin buildling itself would be a money-spinner

The Kymin, and its extensive grounds, is actually owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council which leases the building – on a low-rent rolling basis –  to Penarth Town Council under a long-standing deal which makes Penarth Town Council responsible for the maintenance of the building.

Cllr Liz Fahy (Labour St Augustines)

Committee chair Cllr Liz Fahy said that in her view the existing flat needed “a considerable amount of work to upgrade it and bring it back into use”.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) agreed  . He said he was  concerned about Health and Safety aspects in the apartment –  especially in the loft area of the flat –  and said “I thought it was quite dangerous to be  honest”.

Cllr Wilson also noted that the height of the loft area was so restricted people had to lower their heads and stoop to walk around in it. He said “I do think we need to look at investing quite a considerable amount of money in looking to upgrade that flat if it’s going to be used for residential or any other purposes.”

Cllr Laura Rochefort (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Laura Rochefort (Labour Cornerwell) observed that  there was “a lot of damp there”.

[ PDN Note: The Labour-run Penarth Town Council had been involved in a secret attempt to acquire The Kymin from the Vale of Glamorgan Council under  a so-called “Community Asset Transfer”.  There was no consultation whatever with residents and local council-tax payers. Embarrassingly the whole top-secret scheme collapsed earlier this year after Penarth Town Council submitted a badly-prepared business plan  which was castigated by the Conservative-run Vale of Glamorgan Council and dismissed  out-of-hand. The outcome was a major embarrassment to Penarth Town Council – particularly for its former  Leader Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)  who had pushed for the ill-considered scheme]

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative St Augustines)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said  the matter should come back to the committee so that a decision could be made .   He said one of the concerns was “the  future  of the Kymin”  and said it would be unwise at this stage  for Penarth Town Council to invest any money in the building.

Cllr Fahy proposed no further expenditure be undertaken until further information was available.

Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative St Augustines)

Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative ST Augustines) asked whether there was a long-term plan from the Vale to upgrade the WHOLE of the Kymin House [ not just the top floor flat].

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) – who is the current Leader of Penarth Town Council  – said “We have had very little information from the Vale”.

Cllr Martin Turner said “We have no immediate plans to re-let have we? …so there is no need to do any work there”.

It was agreed that the Finance Committee would not take any further action until the future of the Kymin was clarified by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

One PDN source says that if Penarth Town Council doesn’t look after the Kymin properly – as it is committed to do under its lease – the Kymin could become another property debacle like the former St Paul’s Church, which was neglected for so long, it became unviable to repair. 




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  1. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    Give us back GARDENHURST

  2. David Day says:

    They all seem puzzled. Why, I don’t know. All they have to do is a primary-school level business plan: that is, in this case, ascertain the capital costs of doing the work needed, then work out the annual rental income and calculate how long they will need to ‘pay back’ the capital from the rental income, then (bearing projected upkeep costs in mind), calculate he likely ongoing rental income – and of course how much this will allow them to deduct from citizens’ ever increasing local tax burden. SIMPLES!

  3. Jp says:

    Perhaps if the Town council didn’t have so many staff to help it run the allotments and pager rooms it could afford to meet its obligations- am surprised that no one has thought to be sure that the rolling lease contract is met?

    • David Day says:

      Well, yes. One assumes they have a lease on a legal basis that allows the town council control for, say, 99 years or whatever, but they worryingly seem short of information if one is to judge from the comments quoted above. I mean … what information about the lease could they possibly be without? Why doesn’t one of the perplexed councillors ask the Clerk to go to the filing cabinet, look under ‘L’ for leases, and pull out the lease agreements with the Vale? This would end the uncertainty. Honestly, the more I hear about this council, the more I fear the worst.

  4. Anne Greagsby says:

    It does look like no regular maintenance is carried out on this building. Even the basics, the gutters are completely blocked and appear to have been neglected for years. This building is being left to rot. The community needs places to meet so why not allow groups to meet here at a token cost.

    • David says:

      Isn’t this entire area radioactive Anne? What would be the use of renovating a dangerously polluted building?

  5. His Royal Highness the King of Plassey Street says:

    No surprise considering how most of the Labour Councillors only went into the politics because they have zero business sense and probably couldn’t hold down a real job.

  6. Scootergirl says:

    I can’t believe that Penarth Town Council are acting like ostriches. They knew the terms of the lease. If general maintenance had been conducted routinely then the place wouldn’t be in such a state and need so much money spent on it. But because they can’t/ won’t be now renting it out, they are going to bury their heads in the sand and let the place rot…………..Unbelievably typical – what a waste of space each and every one of them are – especially all those who have commented above ( the councillors, that is)

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