PERMISSION for street trading in the grounds of a village hall in the shadows of Tintern Abbey has been given by councillors. 

Monmouthshire County Council’s licensing committee has given the go-ahead for farmers' markets and craft fairs to take place in the car park, garden and play area of Tintern Village Hall after hearing from its treasurer Lindsay Cobb. 

The village hall management committee had requested permission for street trading from 10am to 4pm on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

But Ms Cobb told the committee it wasn’t the intention to hold weekly events. She said: “It’s not for three days a week to be used all the time every week. What we’re looking to do is to have a monthly farmers’ market, selling local produce, on a Saturday and two to three times a year have a craft market.” 

She said craft markets would likely be held at Easter and Christmas, and Mondays have been included in the application to cover bank holidays. 

The committee had to consider potential impact on existing traders with the council’s policy stating permissions shouldn’t be granted within 100 meters of an existing shop, restaurant, hot food takeaway, or where there are other street trading permissions or markets. 

South Wales Argus: Tintern Village Hall.Tintern Village Hall. (Image: Google Streetview)

The village hall is just 27 metres from the Filling Station café, with the Abbey Mill café 70m away and the Wild Hare pub 82m from the hall, while Leyton’s Field, which separates the village hall from the historic 700-year-old Tintern Abbey, is the site of the annual village fete so also had to be considered. 

But Ms Cobb said existing businesses were supportive of the hall, which has already hosted farmers markets and craft fairs inside but had made the application as it wants to allow some four or five stall holders to set up outside. 

She said: “The Filling Station, the village shop and pub and restaurant are actually quite supportive. I know this is me saying it, but they advertise by sharing our posters. I don’t think they feel it’s in conflict but bringing more people into the village and to have something to do.” 

Chepstow Conservative councillor Christopher Edwards said he recognised village halls needed to diversify to keep them running but asked what impact would be on communal facilities and was told the intention is the car park would remain open though one stall holder has a horsebox-style milk chiller which would occupy a space in the front car park. 

Labour councillor for Chepstow, Dale Rooke, asked for assurances health and safety had been considered for stalls operating in the car park and was told cordons could be used. 

In response to Mitchell Troy and Trellech Conservative Jayne McKenna, who asked if there was a plan for potential litter, Ms Cobb said it would be cleared as usual by village hall management and she said it would serve teas and coffees in mugs they wash themselves. 

The application was approved for the standard 12 months though committee chairman, Abergavenny Labour councillor Tudor Thomas, said “one or two” legal issues would be clarified in a decision notice. 

The police and various Monmouthshire council departments were consulted but none of the bodies which had to be notified made any representations and the local community council was also given the opportunity to comment.