The company proposing to demolish the former Monty Smith Motoring Centre in Windsor Road Penarth and replace it with a 4-storey apartment block containing 21 dwellings – has dismissed criticisms of the scheme made by Penarth Town Council and by local residents .
Penarth Town Council’s planning committee – and some local residents – had responded to a “pre-application consultation” made on behalf of the developers X Stream Holdings and its consultants WYG .
Despite having received a long letter from Penarth Town Council following a planning meeting on December 6th 2018 – and having received a number of objections to the plan from local residents – WYG say they’re NOT going make any major changes to the scheme as it stands .
WYG say “No specific comments were received which were felt to warrant alterations or variation to the proposed development scheme as consulted upon during the pre-application consultation period. Therefore, the submitted plans and drawings remain unchanged.”
The firm has now submitted a full formal planning application – with unchanged plans – to the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which will make the final decision,
Penarth Council had claimed the scheme constituted over-development of the site was out of scale with the surrounding houses and detailed a number of other issues:-
‘OVERDEVELOPMENT’ On “overdevelopment” the developers say “In our view, the proposal is not considered to represent ‘overdevelopment’ of the site, particularly in the context/baseline of the extent of the existing garage premises.
SCALE: On the scale of the scheme the developers say ” In our opinion, the scale of the proposals is not out of scale with the surroundings, and the height in view of its ‘stepped back’ nature is not unsuitable or dominating, particularly on this prominent route in and out of the town of Penarth. The introduction of landscaped gardens at the front of the residential apartments provides an appropriate separation distance and buffer from the main road and assigns a comparable distance between the dwellings on the northern side of Windsor Road to that present elsewhere on Windsor Road. The height of the building frontage facing Railway Terrace is, in our view, entirely acceptable and has limited impact on surrounding dwellings given the secondary nature of the street”
APPEARANCE : The developers counter Penarth Council’s objections by saying “The contemporary nature of the scheme and introduction of high-quality materials and façade treatments (which takes cues from the surrounding architecture) is considered to create a high building which will significantly improve the overall street scene.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING : On the vexed issue of whether so-called “affordable housing” should be incorporated in the scheme – this , the developers say ” consideration of an appropriate ‘off-site’ planning obligation provision will be discussed with Council officers in due course.”
ALLEGEDLY OUT OF DATE BAT SURVEYS: The developers say their Ecology Surveys remain relevant as they were undertaken within the last two bat survey seasons. They confirm that no evidence of roosting bats were recorded during, with also no emerging bats seen during the survey. There is not considered to be a need to update the surveys.
CHARACTER : Penarth Council didn’t think the appearance of the apartment block would chime with the existing character of the area . The developers refute this saying that “The view is taken that the full height glazed balconies will create an active frontage and high levels of natural surveillance onto Windsor Road. The design rationale is not to implement a pastiche design, however, to respect the Windsor Road surroundings whilst introducing new quality architectural approaches to the locality. Therefore, the introduction of rhythmic bay windows is not deemed necessary. The fenestration and façade treatment is deemed to integrate successfully with its surroundings. The stepping back of side elevation at second storey level is not deemed necessary.”
PARKING : Penarth Council had queried the number of parking spaces and the “sustainability” of the site. The developers say “It is maintained that the application site is served by frequent and well-utilised bus services, and is also within short walking distance of the Dingle Road railway halt that provides regular services to Cardiff and the surrounding hinterlands. As such the provision of 21 car parking spaces is considered to be more than sufficient.”
ACCESS: A local resident in Railway Terrace had said that access to parking via a lane which runs at the rear of Railway Terrace would present significant dangers to pedestrians and increase the likelihood of collisions – but the developers discount this concern – saying that “it is considered the vehicular access arrangements via the rear lane from a
highway safety perspective represents a safer access route than via Railway Terrace itself. This is in view of the opportunity for visibility splays to be blocked by parked cars on Railway Terrace itself – and the potential for these to be ‘lost’ if double yellow lines were required to maintain visibility.
LOSS OF LIGHT : A local resident had also complained of a potential loss of light – but again this concern is dismissed . The developers say “Any loss of light is not considered to be of a degree which would cause harm the existing residential amenity. In terms of overlooking of the rear gardens, a glazing approach to ensure that there are no direct views into the rear dwellings on Railway Terrace can be discussed in due course if required.”