Plans submitted to demolish building of ‘Historical importance’
Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter
Controversial plans to demolish a building of ‘Historical importance’ in Port Talbot have been submitted to the council’s planning committee, in order to make way for a potential five storey building that would contain 18 affordable flats.
Eagle House, based on Talbot Road near the centre of town dates back to the 1800s, and has been described as a building of historical significance in its position adjacent to the Transport Hub and Port Talbot Parkway Train Station.
The building also lies just metres away from the iconic Grade II-listed Plaza building as well as the Grand Hotel, where it has been previously used as offices, and a hotel during it’s long history.
The application that has been submitted by I&S Gorvett and Castell Group, would see the proposed flats made up of thirteen one bed apartments and five two bed apartments, with six flats on each of the first and second floors, four flats on the third floor, and two flats on the fourth floor.
The submitted plans also have a provision for 19 car parking spaces, three of which would be disabled parking spaces, and the development of secure bicycle parking on the ground floor.
Many councillors who heard the proposals were in opposition to the plans, and argued that despite the need for housing in Port Talbot, losing a building with such historic features could come at a major loss for the town’s character. They also called for more information on the historical importance of the building before any decision could be made.
Cllr Saifur Rahaman, of Port Talbot, said: “Eagle House pre-dates the construction of Station Road and Talbot Road and it is one of the oldest commercial buildings remaining in Port Talbot since the 1876 map survey was carried out. This shows how old this particular building is, and in terms of it’s local importance I don’t think nothing can argue that.
“The recent refurbishment of the plaza building has shown us how respecting our heritage can be an important part of our local community. Protecting our heritage and architectural character is really important to the residents of Port Talbot.”
The decision to demolish Eagle House will now be deferred in order to assess the historical significance of the building , as well as finding out what impact the removal would have on the community of Port Talbot.
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