Dr Who and unfinished tower story in church plans

27 January 2017

Photos of a Doctor Who episode and the story of an unfinished church tower are included in the full planning application to transform St Paul’s in Grangetown.

The detailed proposals for the long-awaited £2m development by Wales and West housing association have now gone to Cardiff Council.

It would see 12 one-bedroom apartments created inside the nave of the Victorian building, while two semi-detached two bedroomed homes would also be built in the grounds, backing onto Llanmaes Street.

The new-look church in the chancery and top the staircase within the nave to the apartments.

The two new homes outside and (right) how the apartments would look

A smaller church would remain inside the chancel, linked to the already refurbished community hall next door. The proposals were unveiled at a pre-planning stage in November.

But now the full details have been submitted, including details of the structural problems facing the building, which partly prompted the Church-in-Wales putting up for sale several years ago.

The heritage value of the Victorian building is the subject of a separate report – and it includes mention of the church’s popularity with Doctor Who fans, after a November 2004 episode was filmed on location there, when a wedding was interrupted by Reapers!

The planning documents also include the little known story of the “unfinished” south tower, facing St Fagans Street. This was started five years after the main building but was never finished – with work looking like it stopped in a hurry.

“The incomplete tower is a curiosity with its metal sheet roof appearing utterly incongruous and none of the window reveals actually fitted with windows,” writes consultants Austin-Smith:Lord in the heritage impact assessment.


There has been one objection from a resident in Llanmaes Street, complaining about parking pressures from the homes. But the developers argue that there will be little impact and the area is already used to car use because of the church’s operations.

The Grade II listed church in Paget Street, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015, was put on the market several years ago due to the high cost of repairs, with the idea later emerging of the church sharing the building with social housing.

All the homes which have been proposed have been deemed as affordable. Most services are now held in the adjoining hall, especially in winter.


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