THE HISTORIC Junction House on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal has been taken off the market after local opposition to the sale.

Junction House was listed for auction later this month with digital property company BidX1 for a guide price of £65,000.

However, the listing – which was spotted on Rightmove – drew criticism from local community groups, namely members of the Bridge 46 to Five Locks Facebook group.


Ruth Kedward, an admin of the group, set up a petition against the sale of the cottage.

“It’s a very historic and iconic building. It’s part of the history of the canal,” she said.

“The Canal and River Trust claim to be custodians of the largest collection of industrial heritage. They are planning to auction off the Toll House and are in receipt of public money to build a visitor centre on the other side.”

The Canal and River Trust, with Torfaen and Caerphilly councils, have received funding from the Welsh European Funding Office to provide an activity hub at the site.

Plans for the new activities centre and café at Pontymoile basin were recommended for approval last week, despite more than 70 objections to the proposal.

"Will they take the time and the care to make the new building historic and aesthetically pleasing?" said Ms Kedward.

“It could be incorporated somehow. Even if it was used to store equipment – you don’t even have to let people in there. Or if it was made in to a museum – even if people can’t go all the way inside."

Junction House in Pontymoile. Picture: BidX1

Junction House in Pontymoile. Picture: BidX1

"[The listing] mentions other residential canal cottages as if Junction Cottage is just another house," said Helen Whitney, from the group. "It was built at the junction of the two canals and was, as I understand it, listed by CADW because it is such a good example of a toll house.

"It's an iconic building and would suit being turned into a visitor or heritage centre or tea room - all of which the Canal and River Trust are intending to build in the area."

“This feels as if it has been done in an underhanded way," said Ms Kedward. "It came up on social media over the bank holiday. There was no consultation.

“The petition was a way to quickly show our views on this, especially during Covid when we can’t call a public meeting.

“We are asking the Canal and River Trust if they can withdraw it from auction and have a proper consultation so we can try and save it.”

The owners, the Canal and River Trust, has now withdrawn the property from sale.

“We have already received interest from a number of community groups and have therefore taken the property out of the planned auction while progressing conversations with these groups,” said a spokesman for the Canal and River Trust.”

The Trust previously told the South Wales Argus: “Junction House isn’t part of the plans for Pontymoile Basin and has been put up for sale by the Trust.

“The proceeds will be reinvested into other income generating assets to provide ongoing, long-term income to look after our historic canals.

“Most residential cottages on our canals are already in private ownership and lovingly looked after by their owners.

“In the case of Junction House, the property is Grade II listed, so a new owner, in investing in the property, will have to abide by the heritage conversation in place to protect a building of this type.

“We hope that there is interest that will see the property invested in and protected, and thank all those who have taken an interest in its care.”