AN APPLICATION to turn a Grade II listed building in Newport into a boutique hotel has been given the go-ahead despite concerns from residents.

Plans to convert Rothbury House in Stow Park Circle, a former nursing home, into a hotel and restaurant were previously thrown out, in 2015, over concerns around parking and impact on the surrounding area.

But brothers Pasquale and Sergio Cinotti, owners of the Gemelli Restaurant in Spytty Retail Park, have now been granted planning permission - subject to conditions.

These include submitting a management plan for the restaurant, including details on music volume, to the council prior to opening.

Pasquale Cinotti said the building will be a lot more than a hotel, offering cooking classes, on chocolate, ice cream and bread making.

He said: “It will be something unique – we are also trying to involve the community.

“There is demand from people as there is more and more interest in quality food.”

He also said they are waiting for Cadw - the historic environment service of the Welsh Government - to outline any other conditions before they can start the work on the Jacobean-style property.

Cadw will determine the number of rooms the hotel can have, he added.

“In accordance with the conservation officers, we will be doing as little change as possible and keep in mind the original features,” Mr Cinotti said.

“The architects have given us an indication it will take 12 to 14 months to carry out the works.”

Mr Cinotti said they hope to be able to open the boutique hotel by the end of 2019, but that their priority is that the building is well-equipped and "done up nicely".

As previously reported in the Argus, the proposal has proven deeply unpopular with many in the area.

Concern have been cited over noise, an increase in on-road parking, and the implication of allowing a business to open in what is mainly a residential area.

In the planning application’s design access statement, it says the scheme will benefit from 20 car parking spaces to address previous reasons for refusal.

The brothers have also announced that the re-opening of their popular restaurant in Bridge Street, Newport, has been pushed back again.

The restaurant, which has been closed for nearly two years, was one of several businesses forced to close due to electrification work to the railway lines and the rebuilding of the railway bridge in May 2016.

With the works having finished more than a year ago, the restaurant was due to re-open shortly. But this has been delayed again after a recent pipe burst.

Mr Cinotti said: “The pipe burst caused damage, which is the cause for the delay.

“We are looking forward to being able to re-open later this year.”

Mr Cinotti previously said the restaurant will have undergone a full refurbishment when it re-opens.