Council approves plan for B&B for homeless people in former pub
Nicholas Thomas – Local Democracy Reporter
A former pub will become a bed and breakfast for homeless people despite neighbours’ concerns about crime and parking.
The former Windsor Hotel in Abertridwr will accommodate up to 22 people “who are currently homeless and are currently on the housing waiting list” held by Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The pub closed down in November 2022 and the council’s housing team approached applicant The Property Index Ltd to carry out the building work, planning documents show.
Objections to the proposal included concerns about antisocial behaviour, parking problems, and an alleged lack of consultation – but council planners gave the application the thumbs-up, saying the B&B would provide accommodation “for those most in need within the local communities”.
According to planners, the “revitalisation [and] restoration of the former public house would contribute towards the recognised regeneration aims for local village high streets and centres whilst allowing a recognised ‘public’ asset… to be brought back into a beneficial use”.
The developer has been given planning permission to build 22 bedrooms over four floors, including the basement level. Each will have its own bathroom facilities, and plans show a canteen and staff rooms will also be installed.
Of the neighbours who received letters about the plans for the Windsor Hotel, 19 lodged objections with the council.
They included fears the former pub would be used as a “hostel” and its occupants may include people “on bail” or with “criminal records”.
The council said it was “not proposed” to open a hostel and that would require separate planning permission. Its own Environmental Health department had reviewed the plans and “raised no objection to the development”.
Other concerns around parking, congestion and noise were mitigated by the building’s previous – and recent – use as a pub, the council added.
Asbri Planning, acting as agents for the applicant, said it was the developer’s intention to provide a small number of parking spaces on the site.
The agent also said the B&B would realise the “full potential” of the Windsor Hotel and “positively impact upon the character of the area”.
“The change of use would ensure that the building is still positively occupied, contributing to the vitality of the immediate area in terms of footfall and comings and goings,” Asbri’s senior planner Gwen Thomas added.
“The building occupies a prominent corner plot and [its] occupation would ensure that the building does not fall into a further state of disrepair.”
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