02/01/2023

Wales News Online

Local & National News for Wales

Rothbury House granted permission to become crisis centre for rape and sexual abuse victims

PLANS to turn a Grade II listed building in Newport into a crisis centre for victims of rape and sexual abuse have been given the green light.

Rothbury House, in Stow Park Circle, was sold for £335,000 in 2019 to New Pathways – a charity that offers counselling and specialist services to women, men and children who’ve been affected by rape or sexual abuse.

The approved plans include refurbishing the derelict Grade II listed building and converting it into a crisis centre.

The centre will include offices and counselling rooms. Permission has also been granted to run non-residential training courses at the site.

Two parking spaces will be provided near to the building for disabled staff and clients.

The front forecourt will be used as a parking and turning area and the rear area will be used as a break-out space.

The application form says the Welsh Government has provided “a significant capital grant to meet some of the refurbishment costs for the building”.

Rothbury House was built in the late 19th century but is currently “in a poor condition”, having been empty for 13 years.

Some work has already taken place to address leaking issues in the chimney and roof.

None of the features that make it a listed building will be impacted negatively by the refurbishment, including the staircase joinery and the stained-glass window.

New Pathways has previously said the building will help provide “first-class” facilities for its clients.

After buying the building under auction in June 2019, the charity’s chief executive, Jackie Stamp said: “With a sympathetic touch we can bring Rothbury House back to life as the fantastic venue it once was.”

The charity currently has 10 offices throughout Wales, including Maple Tree Centre, in Newport’s High Street, and Laburnum House, in Tredegar Street, Risca.

The building was last used as a nursing home, which opened in 1993 but closed in 2006 for financial reasons.

Permission has previously been granted for a hotel and restaurant in the past, but neither scheme went ahead.

There were no objections to the planning application from residents in the area.

Another building in Stow Park Circle, Willow House, has also been the subject of a planning application to turn it into a women’s rehabilitation centre.

The plans have caused concern among the community in the Gaer and have led to a petition with 165 signatures, although a decision has not yet been made.

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