Newport flats plan could be blocked
LONG standing plans to demolish a derelict Newport pub and build flats could be blocked this week after problems over a legal agreement that should have seen more than £400,000 paid for affordable housing.
Back in 2008 Newport planning committee approved an application from Liddell and Associates which allowed the King Hotel on Somerton Road, Newport, could be demolished.
But a Newport council report to Wednesday's committee meeting shows that the applicant behind the planning application did not complete a legal agreement which would have seen seen £466,500 paid to provide affordable housing in Lliswerry.
The report says that the owners, stated in 2008 as being Johnsey Developments Limited, have now "dissolved".
The plans are now going back to planning committee, with an officer recommendation for them to be refused because the plans do not include "appropriate and reasonable" contributions to affordable housing or off-site leisure facilities.
A planning officer wrote that the council's housing department originally requested 20 per cent of the flats in the new development be affordable.
However it later emerged that the flats would not meet Welsh Government requirements and instead officers requested the £466,500 instead.
Despite attempts by officers to complete or re-negotiate the agreement Ð which also includes a requirement of £15,000 for leisure ÐÊthe applicant did not complete it, or respond to written enquiries on the matter from the council.
Lliswerry councillor John Richards said Lliswerry said something had to be done urgently with the building.
He said: "If that was an option demolition would suffice to rid us of this eye sore. Consultation needs to take place on a urgent basis."
President of Newport County AFC David Hando, who had served as the club's chairman when the pub was the club's HQ in the 1990s, said demolition "was the best option for the moment".
"The sooner it goes the better," he added.