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A NORTH Gower pub which closed last year could reopen, with bed and breakfast accommodation and a cafe part of a bigger enterprise.

In addition, three glamping pods with decking are proposed at the rear of the venue, The Dolphin Inn, which has been around since 1785.

Set on a steep lane in Llanrhidian, the pub’s beer garden has views across the Loughor Estuary and stands next to the grade two-listed St Rhidian and St Illtyd Church.

A pre-application enquiry to Swansea Council proposes using the attached stable building as a cafe, retaining the pub, and creating four en-suite bed and breakfast rooms above.

The existing two-bedroom flat would be altered and become one-bedroom.

In July last year staff from the pub announced on Facebook that it would remain closed permanently, and thanked customers for their support.

It had closed in 2018, but then opened again under new owners before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Campaign group Swansea Camra began monitoring the situation last summer to prepare to save the pub if a change of use was proposed.

Swansea Camra chairman Donough Shanahan said it was a tough time for all pubs but he welcomed the pre-application enquiry, as it had the potential to retain a popular community asset while opening up new revenue streams to help sustain it.

“We view this proposal in a positive light,” he said.

“But we don’t know what the future of pubs will be in the next year.”

Just across the road from The Dolphin Inn is The Welcome Country Pub and Kitchen. The neighbouring village of Oldwalls used to have The Greyhound Inn, but it is due to be demolished and replaced with nine houses.

Swansea Council planning officers have offered support for the retention of the pub, the accommodation, and the cafe.

“The provision of the camping pods is more complicated,” said the officers’ report.

Such pods, they said, fell under the definition of static caravans – and no new static caravans are allowed in the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But officers said they may be scope for a landscape visual impact assessment relating to the pods, which could then be balanced against the tourism benefit and their potential to sustain the pub.

They also wanted to know if the pods and decking would take up the whole beer garden, or whether it would be sub-divided to serve both purposes.

The Gower Society said the owners should be encouraged to retain a “much-loved traditional pub on Gower”.

But the society said the pods’ proximity to the church, in what is Llanrhidian Conservation Area, required careful consideration.

Any final decision on the scheme would be subject to the submission of a full planning application.

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