Council vote in favour of demolishing ‘rare’ art deco building to build car park and flats
Conwy Council’s planning committee has voted by nine votes to three in favour of demolishing an art deco house in Conwy.
The architecturally unique house on Marine Drive was said to have been designed by a renowned Welsh architect and is part of the town’s promenade Heritage Trail. However, this suggestion was rejected by the Conwy planning officer.
The house, which was built in 1939 by Sidney Colwyn Foulkes, holds a commanding position on the seafront with spectacular views.
Architectural campaigning charity, the 20th Century Society had joined residents in lodging objections to the plans with the council, but confirmed today that the bid was unsuccessful.
Developers Commercial Development Management announced plans to knock the building down to build a cark park and flats in October.
The council report into the building notes that while “buildings of this type and style are relatively uncommon in Wales” in this case “there had been a series of changes which have detracted from its character”.
“The applicant has provided evidence to suggest that this building was not designed by prominent local architect Sidney Colwyn Foulkes but rather by William Evans
who also built the property,” the planning officer wrote in his report for councillors.
“The house was unsympathetically divided into two flats in the 1960s, and has lost many of its original features both internally and externally, in particular its original fenestration. It has been further damaged through unauthorised access over the last month which has resulted in further loss of
“Unsympathetic upvc windows are now in situ which detract from the character of this 1930s built house. Despite the modern accretions, and recent damage, the building is still immediately identifiable as an Art Deco house; it would be preferable if it could be reused rather than demolished, especially in our current climate emergency.”
Clwyd West MS Darren Millar had written to Conwy County Council objecting to the plans and is also calling on the Welsh heritage minister, Dawn Bowden MS, to get involved.
His letter says: “While the building is not yet listed (few 20th century buildings are), it is included on the National Monuments Record of Wales which indicates the importance of the property to both local and national heritage here in Wales.
“The 20th Century Society and a host of other heritage experts have backed efforts to safeguard the future of the building and the local authority has asked CADW to consider listing the building but regards the outcome of the CADW process, I would request your personal intervention to protect this nationally important heritage asset.”
A petition to save the house has been signed by 690 people and can be found here.
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