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Victoria Square

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

It could hardly be called a campaign. There was no public outcry, no hastily-called meetings, but for the town this was a crucial moment.

“Application for demolition of end-of-terrace property and rebuild as existing”

This had seemed a straightforward application catching the eye only, perhaps, of conservationists. But this was a property in Victoria Square and the end of a terrace of matching houses that formed a half of one side of the square. It was an area that boasted listed buildings by the noted architect John Coates Carter and had remained untouched by modern development for over a century.

It was inconceivable that demolition would be granted. Or was it?

We happened to know that the owner had been unfortunate enough to own other properties in the town that had developed serious faults leading to demolition “for public safety” so there was an established risk here.

The Society’s first obligation was to write to the Vale objecting to the proposal. Then we would ask for a meeting with the Planning Officer.

At a site visit the owner (who had already been responsible for the demolition of several mansions in the town) claimed that the serious structural problems at the rear of the house could be put right only by demolition and rebuilding. He explained that the gaping hole beneath the front corner of the house, leaving the building unsupported, was “to explore the foundations”. We noticed a bulldozer on site.

We heard nothing more about this application but the house still stands as it once stood as an integral part of an important terrace, allowing Victoria Square to retain its status as Penarth’s prime conservation area .


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