Thursday, 6 March 2014

Tim James Explores the Amazing Marine Buildings at Penarth, Cardiff

A French Renaissance landmark  located in Penarth overlooking Cardiff Bay is continuing to rot as  plans to convert it back into a hotel continue to be put on hold. The building, known as Marine Buildings, has stood empty for the past 30 years. It has been the victim of fire and continuous water damage as the roof has largely collapsed leaving the building under ever more strain from the elements. The building has now been declared structurally unsound  after many of the internal walls have collapsed.  The impressive front facade is constructed of yellow brick topped off at either end with French pavilion roofs,(one of which now has fallen in).

In 2012 the estimated cost of the redevelopment of the building stood at 6 million pounds. This would include the building of a modern extension to the side and rear as well restoring the existing buildings facade to its former grandeur, reinstating the French Renaissance elements  that give this building its distinctive look.  The four star boutique hotel would boast 55 bedrooms, a wine bar and a restaurant.

But what is actually happening?  After being bought by the current owners in 2000 it was finally granted planning permission to transform it into a hotel. In 2012 all seemed to go quiet and just a few weeks ago  the Penarth Times reported that the renovations would be on hold until 2015 at the earliest.   It  was also reported that there would be a rise in the estimated cost of restoring  the building of an extra million pounds. Marine Buildings is a Grade II listed building and deserves to be restored.  I only hope that the owner finds the necessary funds to restore or at least make safe the current structure  before another decade passes and yet more of this building falls into the basement.  

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