BIZWATCH: FOURWAYS NEWSAGENTS IN GLEBE ST BECOMES A SPAR STORE

Changing times and changing signs: The old Fourways frontage ends up in the skip as the new Spar convenience-store signage is installed. The shop will carry on selling newspapers though.

Conversion work is now well under way on changing the well-known independent town-centre newsagents Fourways into a Spar convenience store. 

Fourways proprietor John Gough closed the shop for the last time on March 11th as he stepped down from running the business, which has now been taken over by his son James and his business-partner Lloyd Howell.

The “Fourways News” name survives on the new signage as a footnote

The shop is due to re-open under  the branding of the Spar chain on March 24th and will retain the newspaper sales –  and newspaper deliveries, which are continuing uninterrupted during the change-over period under John Gough’s personal supervision .

His son James Gough is a familiar figure to Fourways customers as he was often to be seen working at the Glebe St shop before he began running his own business. He and Lloyd already own the Spar store at Lavernock and James also has another Spar store in Barry

The Fourways shop has the distinction of being amongst the premises in Penarth which were badly damaged when bombed by the Luftwaffe during WW2.

John Gough says in a note to customers pasted on the window “I thank you all for your custom at Fourways News over the years and sincerely hope you continue to stay with, embrace the change and the well-needed shop refit.”   

 

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 23 Comments

WHY ARE TEC MARINA PEOPLE PARKING IN PLYMOUTH PARK? – ASK RESIDENTS

Not quite “tanks on our lawn“: Local residents had complained that  Plymouth Park car-park appeared to have been taken-over “en-mass”  by Tec Marina clients – but it turns out the overspill was just temporary

Residents in Penarth Marina are complaining that a 60-space public car park in Plymouth Park is being used “en mass” by clients and visitors to the business hub “Tec Marina” .

Some residents say there are often so many cars parked in the Plymouth Park parking ground that they are having to leave their cars some distance away in places like Marconi Avenue .

Tec Marina’s clients were claimed to be using  the nearby public car park in preference to their own – but it turns out it was only temporarily whilst their own car park was being extended.

Tec Marina – which provides office and conference accommodation for a number of different businesses – has its own car park aty the rear of its premises.

A Tec Marina statement says “We have recently had work done in the car park of Tec Marina which now allows for us to park 21 cars, along with 2 disabled spaces, motor-bike and bikes spaces.  This car park is now full to capacity but was kept clear of cars, for safety reasons, whilst the work was being carried out, which may be the reason the local residents thought we were not using it, however I can assure you we now are.”

The firm says “The local Council has been extremely supportive of the work we have done at Tec Marina and has recently granted us planning permission for 6 more car parking spaces and work will commence on this shortly.”

Plymouth Park comprises the filled-in Western end of what was once half of the Inner Basin of Penarth Docks. In the 1970s and early 80s a large amount of waste and refuse was dumped in the disused dock by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, covered-over and grassed.  A network of pipes had to be installed [ and later re-installed] to draw-off flammable gases like methane so that they could be burned-off at a central installation located in the centre of Plymouth Park car park . The area is owned by the Welsh Labour Government.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 10 Comments

DEADLY ASBESTOS DISCOVERED AT MARIE CURIE CHARITY SHOP IN PENARTH

A steel stockade has blocked off part of the pavement in Windsor Road whilst contractors strip deadly asbestos from the Marie Curie charity shop

The Marie Curie charity shop in Penarth Town Centre has halted  trading and been shut down until further notice  because asbestos has been found on the premises.

The shop, which normally trades 7-day-a-week, is said to have been closed over the weekend and a section of pavement has been fenced off to form steel-walled construction compound equipped with a space-station-type air lock for the use of workers.

The shop premises have been enclosed with airtight sheets of polythene sealed with adhesive tape bearing the legend Danger Asbestos Hazard

The contractors have to wear specific type 5/6 coveralls and must wear respiratory equipment  whilst they carry out the task of removing the deadly material from the premises.

The dust and fibres from asbestos are known to cause cancer and extensive health and safety precautions are required by law to carrying out  its safe removal.

The airlock leads to a mobile unit in which contracts can change out of clothing which has been in contact with the deadly fibres

The shop-front has been swathed with airtight polythene sheets secured with yellow safety tape bearing the words “Danger Asbestos hazard”

Despite the obvious danger, the Marie Curie organisation  appears to have done nothing to warn the premises next door of what was going on . Staff at the  Nationwide building Society said they had no idea what kind of work was being carried on next door. The Ocho Coffee lounge was trading normally today.

Danger notices are displayed only within the contractor’s compound.

There are no notices on the outside of the steel compound which refer to asbestos and nothing to give members of the general public any warning about the substance – but inside the compound, a number of statutory notices are visible although only to contractor’s staff.

In a statement issued on March 22 2017 a Marie Curie spokeswoman said  “There is absolutely no danger to neighbouring premises or the public”

The statement says  “The Marie Curie Penarth shop is currently closed for a planned re-fit. The re-vamp will provide customers with an up to date shopping experience to pick up good quality, second-hand goods and will also include the charity’s new branding.”

 “In addition to this work, a specialist company is also carrying out controlled asbestos management work to the shop.  There is absolutely no danger to neighbouring premises or the public. The shop re-vamp will be finished just before Easter, when the store will re-open again. We look forward to celebrating our new store with our hard-working shop staff and volunteers and the generous community of  Penarth, whose support ensures that we can continue to provide services to people living with a terminal illness.”

The shop supports the Marie Curie Hospice on Bridgeman Road, Penarth where many patients succumb every year from cancer-related and other illnesses.

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 10 Comments

TWO PACKED PUBLIC-MEETINGS REFLECT LOCAL RESIDENTS’ CONCERN ON CINEMA CLOSURE

There was a capacity audience of about 150 at the “People’s Public Meeting” at Stanwell Baptist Church Hall in Victoria Road Penarth last night

The one clear fact that emerged from last night’s two packed public meetings (both called to consider the future of Penarth Pier Pavilion and its Cinema) – is that the people of Penarth care a lot about them.

At least 150 people cared enough to fill Stanwell Road Baptist Church Hall to capacity for the “SOS People’s Public Meeting” organised by Nicki Page  – with every seat taken, and with “standing room only” for dozens of late-comers .

There was another full house for the public meeting at The Pilot pub in Queens Road

…And across town in Queens Road they cared enough to pile en-mass into the crowded confines of The Pilot pub for the almost-simultaneous and separately-organised  meeting convened by former Town Mayor Councillor Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines).

It was clear that the public  response to both public meetings had taken their respective organisers by surprise – but it was the strongest indication yet that the people of Penarth want their Pier Pavilion and its Cinema fully opened again, following the shock decision to close the Pavilion [refurbished in 2013 at a public cost of £4,200,000] for 3 days each week as from March 6th –  and to close the integral Pavilion cinema indefinitely.

At the “People’s Public Meeting” at the Baptist Church Hall , some seats at a top-table had been set aside specifically for the  directors and trustees of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (a.k.a. PACL) all of whom had been invited to attend. Those hot seats were the only ones which remained unoccupied .

Baptist Hall meeting organiser, PR executive Nicki Page told the audience she had been banned from Penarth “Town Hall” and was told the police would be summoned if she didn’t leave The Kymin

The organiser – PR Executive Nicki Page – told the audience the only reason she had called the meeting was that she loved Penarth, the Pier and the Pavilion . She said she had been born in Penarth, educated at Stanwell School and had returned home after working abroad for many years . She said she was not standing for “any local position” , she didn’t like politics, she had “never voted”,  – but everyone, she asserted,  had “felt outraged” and she wanted to give people the opportunity to “share those feelings in a public arena” .

Ms Page said she had “approached every member” of Penarth Town Council, had tried to “engage” with the Vale of Glamorgan Council, and had “tried to engage with Carwen” (sic) [a.k.a. Carwyn Jones Welsh Government First Minister ] – but he had been too busy to see her. She said she had also travelled to London to attempt to engage with the Secretary of State for Wales but had been told a meeting was “not appropriate and that – bottom line –  he didn’t want to see me”. She had earlier offered her help to Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd free of charge – but had been told it was not needed and that the company preferred to pay for its services .

Ms Page also claimed to be the first person in Penarth to be banned from what she called “The Town Hall” where – when she had attempted to contact councillors and pin-up a poster,  staff had called her “aggressive and unapproachable” and she had been told to “leave the Town Hall”  . When she had attempted to pin-up a poster at The Kymin, she said she had been told the police would be called if she did not leave.

She told the audience that ITV News had filmed interviews with her on the issue that day – but the item had been held over from that night’s programme and would be run later in the week.

Gospel singer Betty Thomas unexpectedly sang “Precious Lord”

It was at this point the meeting took an unexpected turn when Ms Page brought before the audience a female speaker who was going to impart her “passion and commitment on the issue” – but whose name – unfortunately –  Ms Page appeared to have forgotten .

A member of the audience asked “Can we have your name?  We don’t know who you are”. The speaker,  who turned out to be as local gospel singer, Ms Betty Thomas,  modestly asked a member of the audience to introduce her . With the formalities duly completed, she then launched into an unaccompanied solo rendering of  “Precious Lord.”  

For some in – what had now become a congregation rather than a public meeting – it was a moment to discreetly take their leave of the crowded hall – but if the Pier Pavilion and the Pavilion Cinema are in need of divine intervention to secure their survival, then this cannot have harmed their chances.

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) (centre left) prepares to address the crowded meeting in the back bar of the Pilot Pub. Casual diners who might have been expecting to enjoy a quiet evening meal found themselves surrounded by a crowded public meeting of concerned local residents

Meanwhile across town, in the Pilot Pub, there was also standing-room-only in the packed rear bar/ dining area  where presumably some regular customers –  having booked a table for a quiet dinner –  must have been surprised to find themselves densely surrounded by those attending Cllr Philip Rapier’s meeting.

With the meeting almost spilling out into Queen’s Road, it was – notwithstanding Cllr Rapier’s theatrical skills – an effort to hear what was being said.

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) had set up last night’s public meeting at Tghe Pilot on an “apolitical” basis.

Cllr Rapier made it clear that he was not representing Penarth Town Council or the Vale or Glamorgan Council – he was simply acting as a  “facilitator and co-ordinator”    with a view to bringing together a group of “volunteers” with compatible skills and expertise who could undertake the operation of the cinema under arrangements to be negotiated with  Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd.

Specifically Cllr Rapier asked for assistance from:-

  • Volunteer chartered accountants to examine the Penarth Arts and Crafts Accounts
  • Volunteer legal advisors to assist with securing the future of the Cinema
  • Volunteer cinema “staff” who he envisaged could carry out the duties of projectionist, front of house,  cleaning and maintenance

When all the voluntary offers have been received it’s intended to set up a “Steering Group” to oversee cinema operations. Amongst the options proposed by Cllr Rapier are :-

  • “sub letting the cinema to the community by Co-operative . Mutual Ownership
  • Investigating the British Film Institute guide to licensing requirements for “neighbourhood cinema”
  • Investigating film rental eligibility and the cost of joining the British Film Institute “approved neighbourhood cinema scheme”

There was much discussion of the apparently parlous state the Penarth Arts and Craft Company’s accounts.

Penarth resident Andrew Jones who set up the on line petition signed by 1600 people to save the Cinema

Penarth resident Andrew Jones – who had organised the on-line petition to save the Cinema (attracting 1600 signatures in the process)  said the facts of the matter were that the money had “run out” and the company was “robbing Peter to pay Paul ”  but insisted that the Cinema itself was “totally viable” and  cited examples of other community cinemas in Wales which did pay their way.

PACL, he said,  had “completely mismanaged” the cinema and “wasted the money”  . He had heard reports of bills not being paid by PACL.

Some members of the public wondered how realistic it would be to separate functions carried out by the Pavilion from those of the Cinema – and pointed out that sales of pop-corn and bar sales (which have been provided by the Pavilion)  would be important part of the income of any cinema which was run as a separate entity .

Cllr Ian Courtney (centre)(Labour Cornerswell) told the packed  meeting that when he was a “nominee” on the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts he had not been provided with any management accounts – and explained why, 2 years ago, he had resigned

Professor Anthony Hazell, chairman of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd was not at either of the public meetings

Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell), who was Penarth Town Council’s “nominee” trustee on the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts up to November 2014,  told the meeting that the current chairman of PACL  [ Professor Tony Hazell] and his predecessor had both worked “exceptionally hard“. It was a “personal sacrifice” on the part of Professor Hazell that he had “dedicated part of his life to PACL” [ i.e. Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd]  .

Cllr Courtney  said the firm had a number of financial obligations which he could not divulge for legal reasons. He reminded the audience that he had said had publicly that he had resigned because of “matters of commercial viability affecting the Pavilion”. The chairman however had said afterwards he was unaware of any commercial issues.

Cllr Courtney went on to say that the accounts for the year in question  indicated a material uncertainty which may cast a doubt about the charity’s ability to continue as a going concern   . That statement in the accounts had been made six months after the chairman’s statement that “there were no commercial issues“. He said “I will leave you to judge whether at that time – nearly two years ago – there was a major commercial challenge  facing the Board of Trustees”

However  other speakers thought that – although the background was useful –  it would be better to concentrate on the current situation. Andrew Jones said this would depend on “whether PACL would invite anybody in to take care of the cinema for example” . Mr Jones said he understood that some talks on these lines were already in progress.

Asked how much the Cinema cost each year to run, Cllr Courtney said that when he was a PACL trustee “it was impossible to tell because we had no management accounts “.

Another speaker asked whether it was correct that the Cinema had spent “only £60 a year” on marketing and that “two managers were paid £25,000 a year”. No one came up with a reply.

It could be “curtains” for the Pavilion Cinema unless something is done to save it

There was an extensive discussion on the very high charges made by film hire organisations – a major overhead  which cinema operators have to pay and which it was said could amount to  £1,000 for a “hot” film.

A member of the public asked whether it was the case that Penarth Arts and Crafts had paid £47,000 to rent 363 films when the films could be bought for £7,000. Another said the hire rates  depended on the film, and on how “current” it was . It was also pointed out there were special hire rates available for universities and film clubs. Andrew Jones said he understood that the fees in the case of the Pavilion were a percentage of the box office takings.

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) addresses the crowded meeting in the back bar of the Pilot Pub

Cllr Rapier  pointed out that community cinemas “up the valleys” were viable and he believed that the Pier Pavilion Cinema could also pay its way , The Ritz Cinema in Thirsk North Yorkshire was open 363 days a year and was completely viable he said .

Cllr Rapier  said he needed “12 signatories ” – ideally with legal or accountancy qualifications  – to form the nucleus of a community cinema group to invesigate the position of PACL and potentially negotiate arrangements to kleep the Pavilion Cinema going .

He invited all those who wanted to help, to contact him via his email address  Philip.rapier@hotmail.co.uk and his phone number is 02920709232 [ as detailed on the Penarth Town Council website] .

UPDATE 

Broadcasting executive Andrew Jones has now issued a statement in the wake of last night’s public meetings on the Pavilion Cinema

Today Andrew Jones – who instigated the 1,600 signature on-line petition protesting the closure , released a further statement in the wake of last night’s meeting at The Pilot.

In it he says: Philip Rapier presented the case for the formation of a shadow voluntary organisation ready to step in with a proposal to take over the cinema as a community cinema.
Whilst his proposal is no doubt well intentioned there are 2 problems with this in my opinion :-
1) That PACL show no signs of reaching out to the community in order to find a way forward
2) That the one thing that PACL has done well is to produce a first class programme of films in conjunction with the Independent Cinema Office and shown in a state of the arts digital auditorium. We want this to continue. Whilst I have nothing against the notion of setting up a community cinema we are far from being at this point.
Some people last night were frustrated by the apparent lack of a way forward and concrete plan. However what I believe is important – and the reason for 2 packed houses – is that for the first time people have felt they had the opportunity to express their concerns. It is very difficult to have a concrete plan going forward when nobody in a position to bring about change at the Pavilion ( Funders, local politicians, trustees) seem prepared to engage with the very people whose support was integral to the funding originally received to reopen the place – the public and users of the Cinema and others functions!
Our views were needed to support the funding bids but it seems our opinions don’t count in finding a way out of the current mess! And yes unless someone can convince us otherwise a mess is what it is! It’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes – we can see the feudal kingdom of Hazel-wood for what it really is having visited it regularly – but we are only meant to see utopia!
Our own experiences as customers of the Pavilion are supplemented daily by people and organisations coming forward with their own very poor experiences of unpaid invoices and turned away custom.
Ever since the sudden closure was first announced I have been of the opinion that this can only be down to the fact that PACL has not paid its bill to the ICO for film distribution. Last night I heard several people (better placed than I to know if this really is the case) confirm this – with one claiming the outstanding bill is hefty to say the least. If it is the case that the ICO payment is a pre-agreed % of box office takings then it does raise very serious questions about management practice and financial performance.

Stephen Doughty (Labour Cardiff South and Penarth)

In his column in last week’s Penarth Times local MP Stephen Doughty stated amongst other points on the Pavilion the following :-
I have had a number of helpful conversations and meetings with both Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd and the Vale of Glamorgan Council over recent weeks, and I am pleased that a whole series of steps are being taken to ensure the future sustainability of the Pavilion and its activities….
I know that PACL will welcome all offers of voluntary support, advice and partnerships – and would encourage readers to do what they can to offer support.
Having visited last week, I can confirm that the Pavilion was open, busy, and even with the temporary suspension of public film screenings, other bookings of the cinema are happening….
Constituents are always welcome to get in touch with me, to share views on local or national issues, or for assistance with personal casework matters.’
I have spoken to Stephen myself on this issue and had a frank discussion and he listened to what I had to say. I would though respond again to the above points he made by saying:-
We would really appreciate some engagement and dialogue over this important issue in terms of any remedial steps being taken
• Our evidence to date certainly does NOT support the views that PACL welcome offers of support , advice and partnership. The very opposite in fact.
• What other ‘bookings’ of the cinema are really taking place?
• Please get in touch with Stephen as he is asking in order to give him YOUR views
At the end of the meeting I met many people who came over to me to thank me for my efforts to date with this petition. I just set it up as like others in the room I don’t want to lose our wonderful cinema. People asked what we could do next? The truth is it is very difficult to know if all doors are firmly closed and nobody will engage. When that happens rumour builds and so does suspicion and anger and that is hardly surprising. What is clear is that people have totally lost confidence in PACL going forward and are looking to funders, politicians, the council as freeholder to bring about urgent change – if that includes the removal of current Trustees then so be it. Clearly there are passionate people among us who also have skills and knowledge to make the Pavilion work as we know it can. We are here waiting to be part of a dialogue going forward.
Until then all I can urge you to do is to raise your concerns, suggestions and own experiences with your local councillor – remember there is a local council election coming up and the future of the Pavilion is clearly going to be a big issue. Then as MP Stephen Doughty says he would welcome your views as I’m sure would AM Vaughan Gething too.
The media are showing interest which is good! I am told that ITV Cymru Wales are airing the piece they have done on the Pavilion on this evening’s Wales At Six – 6pm”

ENDS STATEMENT BY ANDREW JONES March 21 2017

 

 

 

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 71 Comments

FAIRY-LIGHTS – BUT NOT ENOUGH NAVIGATION LIGHTS – ON PENARTH PIER

The string of fairy-lights may look pretty but they’re less essential overnight than the pair of vertical red navigation lights on the pier’s main mast  – one of which has been out of action for days

Local residents on Penarth seafront have noted that – regardless of  the cash strapped  Vale of Glamorgan Council’s pleas of poverty –  the council is now keeping more lights switched-on over night on Penarth Pier than ever before.

Normally Penarth Pier is lit overnight by just two or three lamps illuminating the boardwalk – but now the entire pier is being routinely lit up at night –  and throughout until dawn – with a whole string of white fairy-lights.

The Labour-run Vale Council has not yet provided an explanation for the change in the lighting arrangements at the pier .

It has also not commented on the fact that one of the pair of the most important lights on the pier – the uppermost of the two red navigation lights mounted vertically on the pier’s mainmast has been out of action for days.

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 11 Comments

PENARTH PIER PAVILION CRISIS: NOW COMPANY SECRETARY & DIRECTOR QUITS BOARD

Dark days for Penarth Pier Pavilion – which is now closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with its integral cinema being shut-down completely. Tonight  two separate public meetings are being held in Penarth to consider the future of the Pavilion’s cinema – and the Pavilion itself.

Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd, the struggling not-for-profit firm which holds a 125-year  lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion, has parted company with one of its longest-serving directors.

The latest departure from the board has comes in the same month as the company carried out its controversial decision to close the Pavilion to the public for 3 days-a-week as from March 6th and shut-down the integral Pier Pavilion Digital Cinema indefinitely.

Peter John Wellesely Bussell – a director and the company secretary of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd has resigned

Leaving the board this month is Peter John Wellesley Bussell –  who was not only a director/trustee of the Penarth Arts and Crafts, but also held the onerous duty of Company Secretary. He has quit both roles.

It’s now emerged than Mr Bussell tendered his resignation on March 4th  – shortly after the company’s initial shock announcement (on February 27th 2017) that it would carry out a partial shutdown of the Pavilion and would terminate the operation of its cinema.

Mr Bussell – a chartered surveyor by profession – had been a director of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd since September 2012 and had been on the board throughout the period of the £4,200,000 renovation of the Pier Pavilion,  its public re-opening in December 2013 and its operations since that date.

Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd  – known as “PACL” for short – has yet to announce a successor for Mr Bussell.

Two other directors, Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) – who represented the Vale of Glamorgan Council on the Board –  and  Thomas Howard Bennett both resigned last month. Mr Bennett had only been on the board for a year.   Neither has yet been replaced.

A banner for Nicki Page’s “Save Penarth’s Pavilion and Cinema” campaign

Meanwhile tonight (March 20th 2017) two separate public meetings are due to be held in Penarth to discuss the future of the Pier Pavilion Cinema and its peremptory closure.

Former Penarth Mayor Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines)

Nicki Page is leading “Save the Pavilion Cinema” initiative

Former Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) has convened a public meeting at the Pilot Pub in Queens Road Penarth starting at 19.30,

Meanwhile PR executive Nicki Page is holding a different public meeting on the same topic at the Stanwell Baptist Church Hall in Victoria Road – next-door to the Paget Rooms, commencing at 18:30.

A motoring malfunction. Pavilion meeting organiser Nicki Page found herself accidentally locked inside her own car in the pouring rain but was liberated by passers-by.

The day didn’t start well for Ms Page when she found herself inadvertently locked in her own car on Penarth Esplanade whilst awaiting the arrival of an ITV news crew.

Nicki Page installed a protest banner across the Pier Pavilion entrance

Once liberated, however, she did take advantage of the Pavilion’s 3-days-a-week closure regime to erect an unofficial publicity banner across the main entrance.

Whilst she was there,  members of the public were still calling at the Pavilion hoping to get out of the rain and buy a cup of coffee in the restaurant – and were unaware of the new closure regime now displayed on the front doors.

With the rain pouring down – and the Pavilion firmly closed to all comers – ITV News set up an interview with Nicki Page in the shelter of Philip Rees’s “The Old Sweet Shoppe” next door

With the rain pouring down  Philip Rees proprietor of The Old Sweet Shoppe, next door to the Pavilion, offered shelter for an ITV Wales News crew to interview Ms Page for tonight’s ITV Wales News

 

 

 

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 19 Comments

ARCHER ROAD “COACH-HOUSE” PLAN RAISES “BACK-LANE DEVELOPMENT” FEARS

No. 24 Archer Road, Penarth. The proposed new “coach house” would be at the rear of the building

The days when well-to-do homes in Penarth had their own “coach-houses”  and – what’s more – actually kept coaches in them,  are long gone – but Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has been  considering a planning application to build a brand-new one. 

The proposed scheme – which is within the architecturally-sensitive Penarth Conservation Area –  involves the demolition of an existing flat-roofed garage,  and building a new two-storey  “garage/coach-house”  at the rear of a Grade II listed home – No. 24 Archer Road Penarth.

 

Elevations of the  new two-storey “coach house” proposed for the rear of 24 Archer Road

The applicant says the new pitched-roof garage/coach-house building is to be “in keeping with others built at the rear of the property” . The new coach-house would comprise a ground floor garage with an external staircase leading up to what is described as a “first floor workshop”. 

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Planning committee chairman Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour St Augustines) said “This is a back-lane development “

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) said “My concern is that we allow it to go through and then lo-and-behold it will suddenly become a habitable dwelling.  “ She said she was quite concerned about “a future back-yard development”.

Cllr Thomas said “ It was something which raised my antennae a bit when I read this. It’s not going to be prominent in the area. It is in a back lane – in a big garden. Access to it will be through the lane” – a lane which he said he knew very well .

Cllr Mike Cuddy Town Mayor and Leader of Penarth Town Council

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s) said he was looking at the fenestration of the top storeys . It did not appear to him that it would be suitable for a habitable building  – the windows would be too small.  That tended to support the “coach house idea” and the applicants might be actually applying for a coach house”.

Cllr Birch asked why it would be necessary to have an external staircase if the ground floor was going to be “your garage” and the top floor “your own workshop”. Cllr Cuddy speculated it might be in order to leave enough room “to get the coach in,  I suppose”  .

Cllr Birch pointed out that traditionally coach-houses had people living in them – “over the coach”.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) suggested that the planning committee should ask the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which will make the final decision on the application to impose a condition that the new building is “not to be used as living accommodation in any form”.

Penarth Town Cllr Anthony Ernest

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said the development was very much in the heart of that part of the Penarth Conservation Area. It was an area with “very fine houses” – some with “6 or 7 bedrooms or more”  . He said he was concerned about the “residential aspect” and also  with regard to the roofs which he said would be “out of context with the  design of the principal property”.

He supported the points made by other members and suggested the application should be raised with the Conservation Officer of the Vale of Glamorgan Council. Cllr Ernest said that if a precedent was created for a back-garden development then “there are many other properties along there which could develop similar ideas”.

The concerns expressed by the council will now be communicated to the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which will make the final decision – and its Conservation Officer .

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 22 Comments