Newtown developers claim flats proposal won’t affect Grade II listed pub
Elgan Hearn – Local Democracy Reporter
A historic pub in the centre of Newtown should not be affected by plans for flats and solar panels at a neighbouring 17th century building, developers have explained.
Earlier this year, Stephen Bowen of Bowen Properties Limited lodged a planning application with Powys County Council to change the use of the first and second floor of Merchant House on Newtown High Street from offices into four one-bedroom flats.
The proposal also includes installing PV (photovoltaic) solar panels to be installed on the southwest roof slope.
The ground floor of the building would continue to provide shop space.
Planning agent Steven Mason of MAD Architecture explained the proposal in a design and access statement.
Mr Mason said: “It is proposed a conversion at first and second floor provides self-contained accommodation that makes efficient use of the space whilst minimising impact on the existing building/structure and neighbouring properties.
“The site is readily visible within the conservation area and has been designed to have little to no impact on the street scene characterised along the street frontage of the properties bounding the road.”
A Heritage Impact Statement has also been lodged with the application to explain how the proposal would not impact on the conservation area and nearby 17th century Grade-II listed building, The Buck public house.
MAD Architecture said: “The surrounding area is of various mixed architectural types and styles.
“The site is readily visible within the conservation area and has been designed to have little to no impact on the street scene characterised along the street frontage of the properties bounding the road.
“The PV panels proposed on the southwest facing roof slope are not visible from High Street due to orientation and are not visible from Back Lane due to height and orientation.”
Although the document explains that the solar panels would be “visible at distance” from The Park area of Newtown and nearby council officers.
MAD Architecture believe the dark colour of the panels would “blend” in with the existing slate roofing in the area.
MAD Architecture added: “In conclusion, the proposed PV panels would have minimal impact on the Conservation Area and no impact on the nearby Grade-II Listed Building, The Buck.
Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council have discussed the plans and said they support the application.
A decision by Powys planners is expected soon.
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