Newport's Orb Working Men’s Club in Lliswerry could be demolished
A CENTURY-OLD social club in Newport could be demolished if a planning application for new homes is approved.
The Orb Working Men’s Club, Jenkins Street, Lliswerry, was sold after it shut in 2012 because of falling trade – and now a developer is hoping to build homes on the site instead.
Auctioneers tried and failed to sell the property in March but the Argus has understands that it has now gone to a buyer.
Lliswerry councillor John Richards, who was the club secretary for 30 years, said it was a “sad day.”
“The Orb did its best. The members did their best to keep it viable. The committee tried everything to save the club, so did the members," he said.
"This is happening to clubs everywhere with financial pressures and costs and the rest of it.”
The planning application, filed by an agent with Newport council on behalf of Adra Homes LLP, requests permission for the demolition of the vacant club.
It proposes to build eight three bedroom houses, designed to be of “similar affordability of houses in the locality," on the site.
All the houses would front onto Jenkins Street.
A council officer wrote that £23,003 would be needed for off-site open space/play provision at Lliswerry Recreation Ground.
The Lliswerry club, which is boarded up after shutting its doors last year, had a guide price at auction of between £80,000 and £100,000.
The club closed in April 2012 because of falling trade and has since been the victim of vandalism and break-ins.
It opened in 1902 for steelworkers from nearby plants and also made a major contribution to the sporting life of Newport with the formation of a football club initially nicknamed the 'Ironsides', which in 1912 became the core of the newly formed Newport County AFC.
But the declining economy has hit the club hard in recent years and even a buy-out by 40 members, known as the Orb Consortium, could not save it.
The Jenkins Street building is made up of a lobby and bar, a lounge, snooker room and main concert hall with stage and separate bar, which can accommodate 200 people.
Upstairs there is a second function room and there is also a three-bedroom house on the premises, which was once used by the club manager.
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