Work halted on town pub after planning conflict

By Desmond Pugh in Community News

WORK has been halted on a popular Monmouth pub after it emerged alterations were being made without necessary planning permission.

The reopening of The King’s Head Wetherspoon pub has been pushed back again, after Monmouth County Council (MCC) planning officers issued a temporary stop order on the Grade II* listed building yesterday (9th May).

The news is a further blow to the team behind the popular town pub, following the decision to close suddenly in January due to concerns over the instability of the building’s frontage.

Agincourt Street was also shut to pedestrians and traffic for some time while emergency work took place to stabilise the structure.

It was initially thought the closure would be for one month, but delays meant the opening was pushed back until the end of May.

MCC allowed the emergency work to be carried out on the building while listed building consent was sought. However, once the remedial work was completed, builders reportedly carried on with the renovation and refurbishment and were asked to stop by planning officers. Failing to do this, MCC claim they have no choice but to put a stop on any work at the Grade II* building until a resolution can be sought.

Planning officer Amy Longford was at pains to point out that the local authority is keen to see the business back up and running to safeguard the jobs, but there is also a need to comply with planning requirements.

MCC officers have been negotiating with the builders to agree what work can be carried out in the short term to continue the process of returning the business to an operating position.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are disappointed with the decision by Monmouthshire County Council to issue Wetherspoon with a temporary stop notice which means that redevelopment work on The Kings Head must stop for four weeks.

“We are keen to discuss the issue with the council as a matter of urgency.

“The pub and hotel is an important aspect of the town and its economy  and we are keen to reopen it as soon as possible.

“We hope the situation can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction as soon as possible.

“At present the pub and hotel staff are working at Wetherspoon pubs across South Wales and Herefordshire and they are obviously keen to return to The Kings Head.”

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