I WOULD like to express my concerns regarding the state of the Headlands School building at St Augustine’s Road, Penarth.

This building is currently boarded up and derelict. The charity Action for Children, which currently runs the building, isn’t maintaining and making use of this historic listed building.

Is it time, perhaps, to change ownership? This building was initially the Penarth Hotel, built in 1868.

The school building is Grade II listed for its exterior structure and architectural detail. It belongs to the Conservation area. Why have the council ignored this building for so long?

It has been proposed by Action for Children that this site should be adapted to create headquarters for the charity by converting the listed school into prestigious offices.

However, the building’s estate management are thinking in terms of how to profit from the housing-land value. Nevertheless the cost of planning and restoration would be a serious liability as regards expense for the council.

The Vale Council have proposed the site for housing development in their Local Development Plan, with up to 67 new houses planned with no consideration for conservation. Labour’s Cllr Gwyn Roberts voted against objecting to the felling of many trees which are such an important part of the landscape.

We are very concerned about the lack of efforts by the current council to preserve architectural treasures. The conservation officer for the council doesn’t seem to be dealing with the issue.

Plaid Cymru’s St Augustine team insists that the parkland site with its historical listed building is retained.

If Action for Children decides to sell the building, we would approach the National Trust to take on Headlands. We would request that the parkland be used for leisure purposes and the building for public events.

Vote Plaid Cymru on May 4 to guard the heritage of Penarth.

Aled Thomas and Anne Greagsby

Plaid Cymru Candidates for St Augustine’s Ward