By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to build three houses next to a former Montgomery pub that was at the centre of a community fight to keep it open have been withdrawn.
In November, Michael Broxton lodged plans with Powys County Council to build three houses next to the former 18th century pub, The Cottage Inn.
The proposal was for two semi-detached and one detached house, all having three bedrooms with three car parking spaces provided for each one.
A year ago, the council’s Planning Committee voted to give Mr Broxton planning permission to convert The Cottage Inn into a four-bedroom house, despite a campaign in the town against the plans.
A Save The Cottage group was set up on Facebook and 85 official objections were lodged against the conversion, with people wanting to see it remain as a pub.
On the new proposal, Montgomery’s county councillor, the Green Party’s Cllr Jeremy Brignell-Thorpe, objected to the proposal and wanted to “call in” the application so that the Planning Committee would decide it.
Montgomery Town Council discussed the proposal at their meeting in December and, while neither supporting nor objecting to the scheme, town councillors mentioned several concerns that needed to be addressed.
The Town Council believed that the land attached to The Cottage Inn needs to be treated as a “heritage asset” for Montgomery.
They believed a terrace would be more “aesthetically pleasing” than detached and semi-detached houses and they also noted that electric vehicle charging points should an “essential requirement” for the development.
CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, said that the application was “inadequately documented” and that more information is “required”.
Powys council’s built heritage officer, Dr Sam Johnson said: “The proposal to construct dwellings on the site is not objected to, however, it is felt that the design should be altered to be more in keeping with the context of the site and its history.”
Dr Johnson believed that the development should represent a type of building “typically found” on the site of a historic pub and not a “row” of houses.
Dr Johnson added that building materials would also need be brought “in line” with those used in a Conservation Area.
In documents supporting the application, planning agent, Gerallt Davies of Roger Parry and Partners, had said: “The proposal is considered to respect the historic values of the town and makes use of an existing vacant area to provide much needed naturally affordable property.
“The scheme will have a significant positive impact on the immediate and surrounding area, in providing family orientated properties which will ensure the pupil numbers of the nearby school remains healthy.”
The Cottage Inn had been used as a visitor centre for Monty’s Brewery but closed in 2020.