DISAPPOINTMENT has been expressed after controversial plans for 30 flats near Penarth’s headland were approved last week.

The Northcliffe application was given the green light by Vale council planning committee at their meeting on Thursday, September 7.

It was a resubmitted application after the original proposal was unanimously rejected by the Vale council’s planning committee in January despite it being recommended for approval by officers.

Cllr Ruba Sivagnanam, member for St Augustine’s, addressed the committee, saying she is not against development in the area but wants to make sure contributions are made through affordable housing, Section 106 contributions, sustainable travel and education.

l Continued on page 5 Committee member Cllr Neil Thomas, also of St Augustine’s ward, raised his concerns about the level of the Section 106 contribution from the developer saying that he was against the idea of council tax payers in Penarth and the Vale having to pick up the bill.

He said: “There is very little opposition to the idea of some development but there have been very minor changes to the previous application.

“It is an improvement but it is still over scaled and a massing form of development.”

Sam Courtney of LRM Planning, speaking at the meeting on behalf of the developers, said the scheme would create 11 full time jobs A statement from Celtic Developments said the scheme has modified the overall massing and heights of the apartment blocks - a previous concern of those who opposed the scheme - and like the previous application, makes provision for parking, and includes a full landscape scheme which seeks to maintain as many trees as possible with a proposal for two replacement trees for each removed.

Penarth Town Council had recommended refusal for the application based on it being an “over-dominant” and “overcrowded” form of development as well as concerns about the amount of Section 106 money available.

Max Wallis of Barry and Vale Friends of the Earth spoke against the application at the meeting saying that there is evidence of bats, a protected species, in the area, which the council has a duty to take as a consideration.

Penarth Head resident Anne Greagsby said she was “stunned and disappointed” by the decision.

“Developers have been given priority over the wishes of the Penarth community,” she said.

“This is another garden-grabbing development which will encourage more infill and demolition of buildings.

“The precious setting of the listed Custom House has been disregarded “No affordable housing has been provided when there should have been 40 per cent, or 12 units out of 30, to be built and the council has accepted £300,000 in lieu which is a scandalous pitiful amount.

“Many trees will be lost and the green corridor along the cliff top and the biodiversity within will be destroyed.”