A MAJOR redevelopment of an iconic Aberystwyth building was given the green light by planners.
Ceredigion County Council’s development control committee unanimously approved Aberystwyth University’s £26million plan to “breathe new life” into the Old College on the promenade.
The grade one listed Old College will be transformed into a cultural, learning, and enterprise facility for the University and includes a 33-bed, four star hotel as well as space for events.
Up to 40 new jobs will be created and there is the potential to attract more than 200,000 extra visitors a year, a planning report states.
It would be funded through the university’s capital investment programme, external funding and grants, including £10.6million of Heritage Lottery Fund cash, with the building set to reopen in 2022 if plans are approved.
The application for the redevelopment of the building of “outstanding architectural and historic significance” includes a new facade, as well as changes to 1 and 2 New Promenade and the demolition and redevelopment of two properties at King Street.
Residents had raised concerns about a loss of 13 parking spaces to create anew entrance with the application referring to 30 spaces to made available in the St Michaels Church car park.
However, local member Cllr Ceredig Davies, who supported the redevelopment of the “iconic” buildings, reiterated that it was resident parking that was an issue not visitor parking.
Cllr Gareth Lloyd, cabinet member for economy and regeneration, added that there was “no question” in supporting the plan if the only issue was losing 13 parking spaces.
“The importance of this project is beyond anything I could say,” he added.
The planning report sates: “The proposed rejuvenation of the building with its new access atrium is seen as the next step in re asserting its role as a significant contributor to Aberystwyth’s Economic and Cultural significance.”