11:22am Monday 30th December 2013
A PROPOSED hotel, pub and coffee shop in Llanfoist, near Abergavenny would create up to 55 jobs and potentially bring more than £2million per year into the local economy.
The proposal, by Johnsey Estates UK Ltd, is to open a 61-bed Premier Inn, a Brewer’s Fayre pub and Costa Coffee on land off Merthyr Road, known as the Westgate site.
The application, which has been submitted to Monmouthshire council, includes a small Costa Coffee with 21 parking spaces, which would be built on four hectares of the site, in conjunction with the hotel and pub which are all part of the Whitbread chain.
The council’s tourism manager, Nicola Edwards said that, based on national tourism data, a 61-double room hotel development could deliver an additional £2.25m spend in the area, with users visiting the town centre.
Whitbread PLC said it is committed to the site, and that the council can be confident that the 50-55 jobs provided by the proposal will be long term.
However, local residents and Abergavenny and District Civic Society have raised concerns about the scheme.
The society said that while it accepts the site is suitable for a budget hotel, it objects to the layout and describe the hotel as an office block and the futuristic design of the Costa Coffee which would be one of the first buildings at an entry to the historic market town.
Abergavenny resident, Simon Bilsborough, described the design for the Costa Coffee drive through unit as an ugly functional shed and raised concerns that a new hotel would have a knock-on effect on hotels and B & B’s in Abergavenny.
Paul Rennie of Llanfoist also criticised what he described as a ‘generic design’ that is more suited to a motorway service station and that the Heads of the Valleys roundabout will not be able to cope with the additional traffic the scheme would create.
Steven Harris, of Llanellen Road, Llanfoist said: “This development gives no concession to pedestrians or cyclists and is clearly purely aimed at exploiting passing motorists.”
The application relates to the commercial area of the site. The council has already approved the plan to build 44 new homes on part of it and outline permission for a residential and commercial development, together with access roads for the overall site, was granted in 2010. Work to build the access road is expected to start on the site in 2014.
The application relating to the outstanding matters has yet to be considered by Monmouthshire council.
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