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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 21 January, 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Penarth Esplanade and Pier Pavilion Update

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide Members with information relating to the current position with regards to the refurbishment of the Penarth Pier Pavilion and the former Beachcliff premises at the Esplanade.  The report also provides an update on wider issues relating to the Esplanade.

Recommendations

1.         That the progress in respect of the Penarth Pier Pavilion and the current situation relating to Beachcliff be noted.

2.         That a further report be presented to Cabinet in due course on progress relating to the Pier Pavilion and to the wider Esplanade area.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         The report is for noting and serves as an update in respect of the Pier Pavilion project and Esplanade.

2.         To apprise Members of progress.

Background

Penarth Pier Pavilion

2.         In terms of the Penarth Pier Pavilion, Members will recall that following a marketing exercise carried out in 2005 the Council's consultants, King Sturge, indicated that given the restrictions relating to the location of the building and the costs of refurbishment it was unlikely that the Council would receive any interest in the building from commercial developers. In September 2005 the matter was reported to Cabinet with an indication that  Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited (PACL) would be interested in putting forward a proposal. PACL met with officers and Members and following the production of an initial business case the matter was reported back to Cabinet in January 2007 at which time support for the approach proposed was given. PACL is the organisation which runs the Washington Gallery in Penarth and is both a not for profit company and a charity.

3.         The project received development funding support from the Council and officers from the Council's Project Management Unit, Regulatory Services and Property have worked closely with the PACL team to take forward the transfer of the building via a Community Asset Transfer model and lease and to aid their team in developing its business case and funding bids. The project has been successful in gaining funding support from the Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund (Community Asset Transfer), from the Welsh Government under its Communities and Facilities grant and from CADW.  More recently its received further revenue funding support under the Welsh Government's Coastal Communities funding.

4.         In the period 2010-2011 the detailed designs for the proposals were developed and both planning and listed building applications were submitted and approved. PACL strengthened its consultancy support group by appointing project management support and following a tender exercise the works contract commenced on site in October 2012. The contract cost is £2,987,425 and R and M Williams are the contractors. It is expected that the construction work will be complete by November 2013.

5.         Further discussions and agreements remain to be concluded in respect of the operational issues surrounding the project and offers are discussing waste disposal, opening times and security issues with the PACL team. Additionally works and services need to be programmed with the existing tenants and meetings to discuss their access and services upgrading and costs both need concluding.

6.         In late summer 2012 a new group of trustees were brought on board by PACL to drive the project and currently the scheme is both on budget and on programme. An officer from the Council's Project Management Unit continues to attend the PACL project meetings to observe and aid the process of refurbishment of this important asset.

Beachcliff

7.         In terms of the Beachcliff premises, planning permission was granted in respect of  application 2008/01232/FUL (registered on 27th January 2009) on 13th March 2009.  The application proposed the renovation of the existing building including the demolition and rebuilding of the rear extensions and refurbishment of the front and side elevations.  It also included a change of use of part of the ground floor from a restaurant to a gym and the change of use of part of the first floor from a restaurant to residential accommodation.  The resultant schedule of accommodation within the building would comprise a gym, café and fish and chip shop on the ground floor and 7 residential units within the first, second and third floors.

8.         When work subsequently commenced on this scheme it was noted that works of demolition extended beyond those approved.  A further application was submitted on 24th October 2010 and approval was granted on 17th December 2010 for restoration and alteration of the building as remaining into 4 residential units, with restaurant/café uses and a gym at ground floor.

9.         Formal notification of commencement of works was provided to the Council as building control authority in February 2011.  However, since that time little works for progressing the redevelopment, other than further demolition, have been undertaken noting that stabilisation works to the facing wall to the rear of the site have subsequently had to have been undertaken.  In this regard works were undertaken under contract at the latter part of 2011, early 2012.

10.      In terms of the condition of the site, the Council has been concerned for a considerable time at the appearance of this key site and the fact that works have not progressed to any meaningful extent.  A Section 215 Notice was served in November 2009 prior to the works commencing on site in compliance with the 2010/01030/FUL permission.  The grant of this permission and its implementation on site effectively superseded the requirements of the Section 215 Notice.

11.      A Breach of Condition Notice was then served in respect of conditions attached to the 2010/01030/FUL permission relating to the requirement for the submission of a method statement for demolition.  The details were submitted and compliance with the Breach of Condition Notice achieved.

Relevant Issues and Options

12.      The majority of issues relating to the PACL project have been tied up in the funding and lease documents which are already in place.  Outside of those lease and funding documents the main issue remains how the public realm both immediately adjacent the pavilion building and in the local vicinity might be improved. The area immediately in front of the building, as public highway, was not leased to PACL but all remain keen to improve the point of access to the building and surfacing in this location could add to the quality of the project.

13.      The building will also need to consider parking, loading and access requirements and again no part of the highway has been dedicated for their use. However the draft Corporate Plan for 2013-2017 does seek to work with partners to enhance and regenerate the Penarth Esplanade, and ensure sustainable and convenient links with both the Town Centre and Penarth Haven by 2016/17. Both funding and improvement options will need to be considered as no dedicated funding is included in the current capital programme of the Council.

14.      In terms of the Beachcliff premises, as indicated above, the Council has been concerned for a considerable amount of time in respect of the appearance of the site and the fact that the development has not progressed.  In this regard, complaints have been received that the permissions that exist have not been implemented.  In this regard, it is pertinent to note that once a permission has been issued, there is no legal requirement for a prospective developer to implement that permission, and the Council, as a consequence, has been of the view that it must seek to engage with the developer in terms of ensuring an effective and satisfactory outcome to the ongoing situation.

15.      As a consequence officers have met recently with the prospective developers to seek assurances that the scheme will be implemented.  The most recent meeting took place on the 5th December 2012 when assurances were given that work would commence on the 7th January with a target completion date of late October this year.  This ties in with the completion date for the Pier Pavilion work.

16.      Alongside these two key projects, and as stated above the Council's Draft Corporate Plan 2013-17 includes the following actions under the theme of Maximising Opportunities:

"1. Work with partners to enhance and regenerate the Penarth Esplanade, and ensure sustainable and convenient links with the Town Centre and Penarth Haven (2016/17)

2. Work with key partners in implementing proposals to refurbish Penarth Pier Pavilion (2013/14)"

In terms of action 1, I have recently met with stakeholders to consider the role of the Esplanade and to consider ideas and suggestions for enhancement.  This is something that I am keen to progress further during 2013 and I intend to report further on progress in this regard in due course.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

17.      The costs of Project Management Unit support have, to date, been met from within the former Environmental and Economic Development Departments budgets. No funding currently exists to take forward design options for the promenade.

18.      There will be costs relating to progressing matters relating to the wider Esplanade and enhancing the role of the Esplanade as a visitor attraction and destination.  There will be cost implications relating to any enhancement work and this will have to be the subject of feasibility in due course.

19.      In terms of the works undertaken to the wall to the rear of the former Beachcliff premises, the costs associated were met within the Council's Property and Legal Groups.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

20.      The PACL project is utilising the Breeam methodology to ensure the scheme designs are sustainable.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

21.      None arising directly out of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.      None arising directly out of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.      None arising directly out of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.      As noted above, the draft Corporate Plan includes reference to the Pier Pavilion project and the regeneration of the Esplanade.

Policy Framework and Budget

25.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26.      Ward members have been consulted on this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None directly applicable.

 

Contact Officer

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services - 01446 704630

John Dent, Major Project Manager - 01446 704617

 

Officers Consulted

Legal

Finance

Group Engineer - Property

Operational Manager, Parks and Ground Maintenance

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services, 01446 704630