PLANS for a new wine bar in Abertillery have been approved by councillors
Mr J Harvey of Six Bells, had lodged a planning application with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to convert three buildings in Abertillery town centre into a wine bar.
To do this, a change of use planning application to have the buildings registered as A3 type premises that can sell hot food and drink was needed.
Councillors at the borough council’s planning committee discussed this application at their meeting in Thursday, September 2.
Blaenau Gwent’s development management team manager, Eirlys Hallett explained the proposal.
Mrs Hallett said: “The premises have been vacant for quite a long time, and they are in a poor state of repair.
“The proposal is to amalgamate what was 18 and 19 Market Street and 11 Commercial Street which is a former Butcher’s shop, and make them into one unit.”
Mrs Hallet told councillors that the access into the premises would be off Commercial Street and it was intended to have the wine bar on two levels.
The only snag with the application came from the council’s own planning policy manager, who pointed out that the application would go against supplementary planning guidance (SPG) that has been adopted, to stop too many food and drink premises clustering in one area.
The guidance is that A3 premises should not be next to each other
Mrs Hallett said “It will be divorced from other premises by roads.
“However, there could be a strong argument that they are more or less adjacent.
“You have the public house at Somerset Street immediately behind, the Commercial Pub and Hotel opposite and The Glasgow which is empty just the south and also the fish and chip shop to the north.”
“Putting all these things together and the strong likelihood that a building of this size in this location isn’t going to be taken up by retail or commercial businesses, on balance we’ve come out to support this application.”
Mrs Hallett explained in the past, similar applications had been recommended for refusal as they had fallen foul of the guidance.
Mrs Hallett said: “On this occasion we feel it is a very finely balanced case.
“The viability it might bring back to the town centre tips that balance in favour of the application.”
Committee chairman Cllr Denzil Hancock: “I think it will make a big difference to that area of Abertillery.”
Cllr Wayne Hodgins, said: “It’s a wise decision as part of our strategy to regenerate town centres, this sits opposite the tourist attractions of the Museum and The Metropole, and I wholeheartedly support the application.”
Councillors supported the application unanimously.