WORK started on converting a former Penarth Methodist church into offices before planning consent was given, it has been confirmed.

An application to convert the former Albert Road Methodist Church is set to go before the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee today for a decision.

Confirming what had taken place, the council said it is “regrettable” that some of the building’s stained glass windows have been removed and replaced with clear glass.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The developer has carried out a number of works to the building prior to the current planning application being determined.

“Some of these works would have required consent, and others not.

“It is always regrettable when works are carried out without planning permission, and when this occurs the Council considers whether enforcement action is expedient.”

The proposal to convert the church, built in 1906, includes plans to create a mix of offices for 18 people and “lifestyle” or “flexible” rooms for 52 people on the ground floor.

According to the council’s planning report on the proposal, the first floor would be partitioned into offices for up to 58 people and the basement would be used as a community space.

The proposal also included re-opening blocked windows and replacing some of them. Although some work has already started on church, the council said that no action will be taken.

The council spokesperson added: “In this case the ongoing works have been monitored, however, given the nature of the works and the existence of a live planning application, it has not been considered to date that any of the works warranted a Stop Notice.

“If any aspect of the development is deemed to be unacceptable in planning terms when the matter is considered at Planning Committee, then the Council possess enforcement powers to remedy this.”

The council’s planning committee will meet at 4pm today to discuss the application. The recommendation being made to the committee is to approve the plans.

Asbri Planning, who were appointed as planning agents to applicants DS Properties (Penarth) Ltd, were approached about work having already commenced on the church.

A spokesperson said: “As you note, Planning Committee is to be held tomorrow and we await the outcome of that meeting.”