The upper floors of Stangate House are currently offices – which the Vale of Glamorgan Council did not want to see lost to the town. The developers appealed against the Vale decision – but lost

An appeal against the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s refusal to allow offices at Stangate House , Stanwell Road, Penarth to be converted into residential accommodation has failed.

The scheme sought permission to convert the first and second floors of Nos 1-3 Stangate House, Stanwell Road Penarth, into 4 luxury apartments.

The proposal was to convert the 1st and 2nd floors from business offices into private flats. The charity shops would have remained on the ground floor . The scheme has been rejected on appeal.

Stangate House is a 1980s office building and charity-shop complex and was built on the site of one of Penarth’s most spectacular churches  – Christchurch United Reform Church.

The 1st and 2nd floors of the modern yellow-brick Stangate development – which was  built on the site of Christchurch – currently comprise office suites. Under the rejected plans  they would have been  converted into 4 self-contained apartments.   Off-road parking would be provided for 6 vehicles at the rear of the

On the ground floor is a row of publicly subsidised charity shops which would remain in situ. These charity shops receive substantial discounts on their business rates although none of them produce any  benefit to the economy of Penarth.

Penarth Town Council had originally made no objection to the proposed apartment conversion, but when the scheme was referred to the  Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning department it was turned down. One of the reasons for the refusal was that the proposed scheme to convert the upper floors to apartments failed to make “adequate provision of usable and private amenity space to serve the proposed conversion” 

The second major reason the Vale Council gave for refusal is that turning the offices into apartments would result in “the loss of office accommodation, an existing employment premises without appropriate justification as to why this is no longer a viable or suitable proposition for office accommodation. ”  The Vale Council said “The principle of the development is therefore considered unacceptable and detrimental to the provision of employment premises”

The developers appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in an effort to get the decision overturned – but they failed.

The inspector upheld the council’s views and stressed that the premises would not be suitable for accommodating families. He said “Many people who choose town and city centres to live do so as a lifestyle choice and are happy to forgo a garden for what they see as the benefits of urban living. In this case these two and three bedroom flats would be able to accommodate families and I consider that it is important for families with children to be able to enjoy a private and safe outdoor amenity space.

The inspector said “The Council’s Amenity Standards Supplementary Planning Guidance requires an area of 400m² to serve the proposed flats. As stated above, none would be provided. I consider that, as a consequence, prospective residents would not enjoy satisfactory living conditions with regard to private amenity space”

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  1. Jane Foster says:

    I don’t think Innovations is a charity shop.

  2. Double Standards says:

    ‘One of the reasons for the refusal was that the proposed scheme to convert the upper floors to apartments failed to make “adequate provision of usable and private amenity space to serve the proposed conversion” ‘
    Shame they didn’t apply the same generosity of intent to the Arcot Street church conversion where the residents appear to be rammed in with scant ‘amenity space’.

    • Jed says:

      No the main difference is that there aren’t NIMBYs like you Inn a Stanwell Rd to try to confuse matters to their own end. The two sites aren’t remotely similara d the disused church do don’t have a continuing future as offices if only the landlord would let them out, rather than keep them empty to convert into flats for their own short term gain. I guess you could apply a ‘continuing use’ function to the church, if you could find a congregation. To take it on, it thatvfaises the other differenc between the sites – the church is derelict the offices are not. People want offices, they also want flats, they don’t want churches (though am not aware Penarth has a mosque yet so that could work at St. Paul’s maybe?). Good call Vale but if the landlord continues to sit on the offices could you compulsry purchase them?

      Now about former labour leader Cuddy’s plans for his own backyard …..

  3. Alan Earnshaw says:

    Seabank, Alexandra Court and Windsor Court all include 2/3 bedroom flats which could accommodate families with children, and none have any dedicated outside space. What’s the difference?

  4. Frank Evans says:

    Too close to the retail town centre.
    I agree charity shops are a blight on our high streets. Sucking money out of penarth and sometimes the country.

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