A LARGE timber ‘summer house’ that was being used as an Airbnb without permission will be allowed to remain standing. 

An enforcement investigation had been launched by council planning chiefs after they became aware an outbuilding was being used as holiday accommodation without permission at an area of Talywain in Pontypool known as The British.

They have now agreed the outbuilding, described by applicant Roger Rudge of number 8 Elizabeth Row as a ‘summer house’, can remain in place – but have issued a reminder there is no permission in place for it to be used as holiday accommodation. 

The British is described by Torfaen Borough Council as the largest site of industrial dereliction in south east Wales and is also a “sporadic settlement” in the “semi-rural environment” established around the former mining and iron works site. 

The houses on Elizabeth Row have large gardens ,but the 13 metre wide, and 3.7 metre high, summer house was erected on additional residential land near the row of terrace properties and is opposite not only the applicant’s address but the end of the terrace. 

Mr Rudge had been granted planning permission for use of the land as a garden, in 2016, and a statement submitted to Torfaen council, after the investigation was launched, explained that he thought he had permission to extend the existing outbuilding. 

It also confirmed it had been rented out as an Airbnb but the statement said: “This has now ceased and the use will remain as that of garden amenity and summer house.” 

The council received one letter of complaint about its use that asked planners to consider the impact of noise due to its use as holiday accommodation and increased use of a private access road. 

Planners said although the summer house is “large” related to the area where it stands “it is not considered to be excessive” and is built of “materials expected of a domestic outbuilding” and could be approved as a “development incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse”.