Wales

Resolven village pub house conversion plan rejected

The Farmers Arms, Resolven Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Losing the pub would be "another nail in the coffin of our community", a councillor said

Plans to turn an 18th Century pub into a house have been rejected by councillors.

Villagers feared converting the Farmers Arms in Resolven, near Neath, would be "another nail in the coffin in our community".

Campaigners claimed the pub, which closed in May, had been a popular focal point and a tourist attraction.

Consultant Robert Bowen said the previous owners had tried to sell the pub for two years without success.

Planning officers had supported the new owner's proposal to turn it into a house and said the pub did not represent an "important community facility".

But Neath Port Talbot Council's planning committee voted their recommendation down by five votes to four.

One member of the committee, Councillor Alex Thomas, said the community had "emphatically" shown their support for the pub in Glynneath Road.

"Just because there are [other] public facilities in the area does not mean they are comparable. It's like saying you have a kebab shop in the village so you don't need an Italian restaurant."

Mr Bowen, for the applicant, said the pub had been "comprehensively marketed". In planning documents, the agent said the demise of the business was as a result of a lack of customers from the wider and local area.

"The closure of pubs is not uncommon in our communities, this is in part as a result of how we, the public, have changed the way we consume alcohol," he added.

But councillor Dean Lewis said: "To lose a pub which is such an iconic and vital part of our village would add another nail in the coffin of our community."

Campaigner Paul Warren said people were "very, very pleased" with the decision.

"It means that this important community facility can potentially open and thrive again for the benefit of everyone in that area," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It is not yet known if the applicant intends to appeal against the decision.

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