PLANS to turn a Newport hotel into flats were approved by the city council yesterday, despite nearly 200 objections from residents.

Councillors gave the green light to proposals to convert the Corporation Hotel, on Corporation Road, into 16 one-bedroom flats at a planning committee meeting yesterday.

A petition of 189 names and four letters were submitted to the council from neighbours expressing concerns about a lack of parking, increased traffic and loss of privacy in nearby houses if the development went ahead.

They were also worried that converting the former pub, known as the Corpa, would interrupt the trade of nearby businesses.

Earlier plans for 19 flats, including a two-storey side and rear extension to replace part of the building that is already there, were scaled down to include 16 flats.

The application, submitted by Mahmood Ali, was approved subject to a number of conditions including creating one-way access from Cromwell Road and the exit with Corporation Road.

Mr Ali’s sons bought the pub around two weeks before a fire broke out at the building last October.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at around 2pm on Thursday October 29 after passers-by saw smoke coming from the top floor.

No one was in the building at the time. Police said the fire was started deliberately, but no-one has been charged with the incident.

The top floor walls, doors and floor boards were badly damaged in the blaze, but speaking to the Argus in December, Mr Ali said he hoped to refurbish the building to create quality accommodation.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact Gwent Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.