PLANS for a 61-bedroom hotel which aims to pump £2million a year into the economy have been given the go-ahead
The proposal, by developer Whitbread PLC, is to open a 61-bed Premier Inn, a Brewer’s Fayre pub and Costa Coffee on land off Merthyr Road, Llanfoist, known as the Westgate site near Abergavenny.
At a planning committee meeting, councillors welcomed the potential the development could bring for tourism to the area but had concerns with the design of the hotel itself.
The developer is committed to using local materials such as stone for the development and has kept the level of the roof to two storeys in keeping with the bungalow there.
The development is believed to bring in 20 to 23 full-time jobs and 30 to 35 part-time jobs.
Castle ward councillor Maureen Powell said: “With the cycling investment we need more accommodation. There isn’t anything much between Ross and Brecon.”
Cllr Douglas Edwards, representing , said: “We must have additional accommodation to bring more tourism to the area. Now that our cattle market has gone elsewhere tourism is extremely important. With the economical aspect not everyone can afford to stay in the Ritz – we must have developments.”
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 this year.
Cllr Debby Blakeborough said: “It very frustrating that we inherited decisions made before many of us were elected. Monmouthshire County Council tourism has said it will benefit Abergavenny and will drum up extra trade for the town on that point I am in favour of it. I think there was a lost opportunity perhaps to involves communities and local societies. I would ask is this the best design we could get?”
Peter Lawson, a spokesman for Whitebread PLC said: “Great investment in the town bring much-needed jobs to the area.”
Council chairman and St Kingsmark councillor David Dovey said: “People come to Abergavenny to see what’s good about the local town. This might be okay in Basingstoke or somewhere like that. We should be looking for design which reflects what is good about the area which surrounds it. I am not happy with this.”
Plans for a Costa Coffee with 21 parking spaces on the site has been deferred on the grounds of design by the planning committee. Councillors suggest a more sympathetic design in keeping with the area.