Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 21 January, 2013
Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development
St. Paul's Church, Penarth, Consultation Update
Purpose of the Report
1. The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet on the consultation exercise being undertaken to ascertain public opinion on the future use of the former St. Paul's Church in Penarth.
That the content of this report be noted and that the results of the consultation exercise be reported to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet in due course.
Reason for the Recommendation
To update Cabinet on the progress made to date and proposals for reporting the results of the ongoing consultation exercise.
2. St. Paul's Church in Penarth has been vacant since early 2011, when the condition of the building was deemed to be dangerous for use by the Council's own Building Control Unit. A report in February 2012 indicated that it had been hoped to refurbish the premises and that an independent report had been commissioned to establish the level of involvement needed to bring the premises back to beneficial re-use. The costs ranged from £220K to make the building safe and usable to £775K to provide a full upgrade. It was resolved in February 2012 that 250K be included in the Capital Programme to allow occupation of the premises. It was also resolved that £250K be set aside from the Penarth Heights redevelopment scheme as a contribution to upgrade the premises for the benefit of the Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Amateur Boxing Club.
3. In September 2012 Cabinet received a further report on St. Paul's Church, which report raised two fundamental issues, namely that there were concerns in using S.106 funding obtained for community benefit purposes to upgrade a building for two specific sporting clubs (Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Amateur Boxing Club). In addition there was a concern that there had been no opportunity for the local community to express an opinion as to what is a desired outcome and end use of the site.
4. As a consequence, Cabinet Minute C1828 (17th September, 2012) stated:
(1) THAT a comprehensive community consultation exercise be undertaken in the St. Augustine's ward of Penarth to obtain local community opinions on the future use of the former St. Paul's Church.
(2) THAT the results of the consultation exercise be reported to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and then back to Cabinet in due course.
(3) THAT Cabinet receive a further report on the feasibility and cost of temporary weatherproofing repairs to St. Paul's Church, pending decisions about a way forward for the use of the building.
Relevant Issues and Options
5. The consultation exercise involving residents in the St. Augustine's ward has commenced and will run until 22nd February, 2013. Residents are being asked to comment on what future use they would like to see for the former church. A copy of the information and consultation form circulated to residents is attached at Appendix A.
6. The results of the consultation exercise will be reported to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee as quickly as possible after the closing date and will then be subsequently reported to Cabinet.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
7. The costs of the consultation exercise are being found within existing budgets. Employment and future financial implications will only be known once the research has been analysed and a final decision made regarding the future use of the site.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
8. Effective community facilities help promote community cohesion, whilst at the same time reducing the need to travel wider afield to access facilities and services that can be delivered locally.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
9. There are no legal implications associated with this information item at present.
Crime and Disorder Implications
10. Quality community facilities are now proven to assist in the reduction of crime and disorder. The St. Paul's Church site offers the opportunity to enhance local community facilities and would be expected to have a positive effect on crime and disorder provided a final use is found for the building/site.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
11. The consultation is being undertaken bilingually.
12. The Council recognises that good community facilities can improve the health and wellbeing of the resident population. Corporate Plan Improvement Objective 2 relates to the need to engage with citizens.
Policy Framework and Budget
13. This is an information item only.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
14. Ward Members have been consulted on the contents of this report.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
15. Economy and Environment.
Dave Knevett, Operational Manager, Leisure and Tourism, telephone 01446 704817.
Operational Manager, Legal
Operational Manager, Property
Council's Consultation Officer
Community Centres Officer
Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services