THE SPIRAL staircase in the Penarth Pier Pavilion is set to be removed due to congestion problems in the cafe area.

A planning application has been lodged by Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited, the registered charity and company that runs the building, to remove the one-storey spiral staircase in the cafe of the pavilion.

During a Penarth Town Council planning committee meeting Councillor Neil Thomas, who was chairing the committee, said that it was “difficult to navigate it” and there had been a number health and safety issues.

The stairway is currently closed with tape across it to prevent people using it.

The planning application states that after six months of use it was concluded that the stairway caused congestion problems around the counter area and customers would benefit from its removal.

The report added that at the same time as its removal the cafe propertier would like to replace the existing counter with an upgraded refrigerated deli counter in a more central position incorporating a coffee machine and tills. It added that this repositioning and removal would increase the number of covers and also double the number of seats facing towards the pier at the seaward end improving the view point and vista to the Victorian pier.

Town Clerk Shan Bowden said that there were no plans to replace it with anything, but that the aperture would be retained to create a natural ceiling and light well from the first floor.

She added that it had been submitted as a planning application because it was a listed building.

The report added that the floor would be repaired with oak planking to match and parts of the existing balustrade at the first floor level would be modified to protect the light well.

The costs of the alterations will be borne by the cafe propertier and not by PACL. Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed that if the stair can be sold the money is to be reinvested into the building.

It is scheduled to take one day to dismantle the staircase.

Penarth Town Council had no objections to the proposals.