Beachcliff redevelopment nears completion

Penarth Times: PROGRESS:  The scaffolding surrounding Beachcliff is due to be removed towards the end of March (3975570) PROGRESS: The scaffolding surrounding Beachcliff is due to be removed towards the end of March (3975570)

PLANS have been submitted for five houses to be built at the £6million Beachcliff development instead of the previously agreed four.

Two of the apartments will also be finished to ‘shell’ with the owners allowed to customise them to their own specification.

Cardiff-based property developer Richard Hayward, who bought the property in 2007 and was granted planning permission in 2009, admitted that it had been a “slow process”, but said that the scaffolding was due to be removed by the end of March and that the rest of the development was progressing well.

During a Penarth Town Council planning committee meeting on Wednesday, February 12, councillors welcomed the proposals, but raised concerns about limited parking on Penarth Esplanade and the delays that the development has already faced.

The matter is set to be decided by delegated authority by the Vale Council.

The long-awaited restoration of the 110-year-old building will feature five luxury homes, a boutique hotel and a fine-dining restaurant.

Councillor Janice Birch, who represents the Stanwell ward, said during the planning committee meeting: “We have seen this development stop and start again and everyone is fed up of waiting.”

Councillor Mark Wilson added that, along with the Penarth Pier Pavilion, the development would help boost the profile of the area as a tourist attraction once it was completed.

“A lot of us didn’t think it would get this far, but when it’s finished it is going to look very good. I like the contrast between modern and traditional.”

Chairman of the planning committee councillor Neil Thomas added: “We are supportive of the proposed changes to the application but have concerns about parking and occupancy. We are generally in support of the development and want to see it completed as soon as possible.”

Since planning permission was first granted there has been a series of delays that have included dismantling and reconstructing the entire building, as well as problems with a boundary wall at the rear of the building that was finally completed in May 2012.

When finished it will also be home to a restaurant and exclusive nine-bedroom hotel run by Michelin-starred chef James Sommerin, as well as a wine bar and café.

Mr Sommerin recently said that the restaurant, due to open on April 25, had already received more than 400 bookings.

Following delays caused by January’s record rainfall, Beachcliff’s windows are now being fitted and the building will be completely watertight within the next couple of weeks.

Work is also underway on the front balconies, which have stainless steel railings and floors made of an attractive yet durable material usually used for boat decking.

Inside Beachcliff, floating glass staircases will be installed in the three houses.

Richard Hayward said: “Beachcliff’s redevelopment has been a slow process, but we’re committed to giving the attention to detail that such a beautiful and historic building deserves.

“The removal of the scaffolding will be an exciting step as it will allow people to see the building’s finished exterior. The internal works are starting to take shape too as we fit out the hotel, with the larger house to the western end of the building and the two apartments next on the list.

“As planned from the beginning, the two remaining houses will be finished to ‘shell’, allowing the new owners to create a bespoke luxury interior which suits their personal taste and style.”

Councillor Anthony Ernest, who represents the Plymouth ward, said: “We would like to see it finished but what we will have is a shell. I am quite surprised that the Vale Council has not put in a condition that it needs to be finished before the commercial units.”

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