A FORMER hotel is to be knocked down to make way for a residential facility for people with autism and learning difficulties.

Somerton House in Llantarnam Road, Cwmbran, was previously used as a hotel and latterly was turned into a house in multiple occupation comprising 15 flats.

Developers Green Hill Construction Ltd lodged an application to replace the former hotel with a new three-storey building for people with disabilities, autism and elderly residents.

The company collapsed into administration earlier this year but new planning agents have been appointed on behalf of Green Hill Construction to progress the application.

Torfaen councillors gave the proposals the thumbs up last Tuesday [August 12] subject to conditions including a section 106 agreement, meaning the developer would make a financial contribution for potential recreational facilities in the area.

The new development is to comprise four flats for people with autism, four for people with learning difficulties, another four for disabled residents and four for residents aged 55 and over who have care requirements.

The development would also have 16 parking spaces including four disabled bays.

A few residents had voiced concerns about the potential scale and appearance of the development when Torfaen council consulted the public on the plans.

However, a planning report on Somerton House stated that the facility would be partially screened from the nearby dual carriageway by new planting.

In addition, the building is to feature bay windows and red brick materials similar to those used on nearby dwellings making it appropriate for the site.

Carers could use parking spaces at the facility and an ambulance turning area could also be provided.

Councillors unanimously approved the plans at Pontypool Civic Centre.