A FORMER pub in Cwmbran could be knocked down and replaced with 11 houses under plans submitted to the local authority.

Bron Afon Community Housing wants to build social housing in place of The Yew Tree in Maendy Way, Pontnewydd, which closed in 2013.

The application proposes a two-storey apartment block with eight one-bedroom flats, two detached two-bed houses and one three-bed house.

Each of the new buildings would be served by a new road from Maendy Wood Rise, with seven communal parking spaces proposed for nearby shops in Maendy Square.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the applicants says a ‘relatively small-scale, high quality’ development would bring a brownfield site back into use to meet local needs.

Torfaen council officers have recommended that the scheme is approved, subject to a favourable section 106 agreement.

But concerns have been raised about the scheme taking away an area of hardstanding which is currently used for parking outside Maendy Square shops.

The council received a letter from a shopkeeper who claims there is ‘inadequate’ parking for the shopping parade, with a designated car park ‘constantly full’ with visitors to the neighbouring Lloyds Pharmacy and community hall.

The letter also claims that the business took a ‘near-50 per cent loss’ in earnings when Bron Afon closed the area used for parking, which was then lased back to the business, according to the report.

“We have been shopkeepers for over 20 years and our customers like to park, run in and get what they need and then go as it is a convenience store,” the letter said.

“I believe non-parking in front of the shops will have a detrimental effect on our small business and could be the end of the shopping parade if the council doesn't step in to help us out.”

Plans to surround the development were described as ‘unsightly’ by the unnamed shopkeeper, who added: “Not only are they takings the car park facilities away, our customers will have to walk all the way around which will also put them off coming to our shops.”

The council’s planning committee will discuss the plans on February 19.