THE demolition date of a former pub to make way for affordable homes has not yet been set, according to the chief executive of Newport City Council.

Newport council’s planning committee voted three months ago to grant planning permission for 10 affordable homes on the site of the Centurion Inn in Heather Road.

And two months ago, on April 17, the abandoned pub was burned down. The next day a 17-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of arson.

Despite growing concerns about the safety of the site, in an e-mail seen by the Argus, the local authority's chief executive Will Godfrey revealed to a resident that he was awaiting "clarification" of a social housing grant scheme before demolition could be carried out.

“I appreciate the concerns residents must have about the length of time it is taking to resolve the situation," Mr Godfrey's email read. "You are correct to say that [Newport City Council] still has the freehold of the property.

"We are currently awaiting clarification of the position re social housing grant for the scheme. Once we have this the demolition can proceed and the housing units can be built.

“I’m afraid I’m therefore unable at this point to give you a precise date for the demolition of the site.

South Wales Argus:

(The pub burned down on April 17 this year, and a 17-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of arson)


"Obviously as soon as we are able we will make a statement to clarify the position.”

Residents in the area have since called for the site to be "put to use quickly".

St Julians resident Michael Enea said: “I sincerely hope the burnt out shell is not just going to sit there now in the middle of our community for another twelve months. It’s a real eyesore on the neighbourhood and needs to be sorted out as a matter of urgency.”

Roger Jenkins, who lives in St Julians, hopes work is carried out "quickly" before the site attracts crime.

He said: "I do not care what the pub is used for so long as something happens.

"If it is left abandoned for too long then youths will end up going there.

"It needs to be put to use quickly."

And another resident, Nicola Griffiths, added: "We are all relieved a company has bought the site and I just want something done with the Centurion quickly."

P & P Builders - the developers - were contacted for comment.