A BUSINESS in Cwmbran which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic has been granted planning permission to open a new pizza takeaway.

Three Nations, which manufactures brewing equipment, will run the pizza takeaway and delivery service from a redundant unit on Llantarnam Industrial Estate.

Torfaen council’s planning committee unanimously approved the plans at a meeting on Tuesday, despite concerns from planning officers who had recommended refusal.

Planners said the proposed takeaway use went against the council’s Local Development Plan, and that a town centre location would be more suitable.


Stay up to date with all the latest food news and events in South Wales by joining our group Eating Out in South Wales

Concerns were also raised that most visitors would travel by car to the premises.

But ward councillors Alan Slade and Dave Thomas urged the committee to support the plans, saying the scheme could help protect the future of the business.

“The applicant’s company is a victim of this awful pandemic,” Cllr Thomas said. “It has ripped through his company and his colleagues and they are trying to think outside the box for the pure survival of their existing company.”

Cllr Thomas said the business has been based in Cwmbran for more than 30 years, employing hundreds of people.

Cllr Slade said he disagreed that the plans would result in “a loss of employment land” – and added that refusing the scheme could “pose a threat” to the existing Three Nations building on the site.

He said: “Is it a loss? I do not think so, I think it’s an opportunity to maintain employment.”

The takeaway will operate from midday to 11pm Monday to Friday, and 5pm to 11pm at the weekend.

It will provide a lunch time service to local businesses and an evening service to the wider community.

Rebecca McAndrew, principal planner, said there were “no material considerations that outweigh the development plan”.

Ms McAndrew said approving the scheme would “make it more difficult to stop other similar proposals coming forward for the rest of the industrial estate” which the council has allocated as an employment site.

But Cllr Jason O’Connell said the council needed to ‘adapt’ to support businesses due to coronavirus.

“We are not in normal times and this business has been quite innovative in seeking out alternative revenue streams that keep it alive,” he said.

Cllr Ron Burnett said the council “must look outside the box” to help protect businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Stuart Ashley said he would support the plan if it could be granted on a short-term basis.

Councillors voted to approve the plan, with conditions of the planning permission to be considered at the next committee meeting.