A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a riverside cafe has been given the green light.
A planning application for a riverside cafe near Chepstow, along with a small dock and platform, was yesterday unanimously given the go-ahead, despite opposition from Chepstow Town Council and residents in the area.The plans were recommended for approval by the Monmouthshire County Council case officer, however due to receiving at least five objections, it had to be presented to the planning committee. The build will consist of a cafe, a function room, a kitchen, a servery, toilet facilities and a lift.The application was originally submitted and approved by MCC in 2007 but the new proposal adds a second storey. The town council have recommended against the devolopment of the cafe on the ground that out of keeping with a view of Chepstow Castle.Cadw were asked to weigh in on how it would affect views to and from the castle. They said that while it would have a slight adverse affect on the way the castle is appreciated, it would not constitute significant change.Concerns from resident Anita Burrett highlighted the impact that this would have on parking area. “The car park is often completely full and drivers often park on the grassy area below the castle, this includes some Bridge Street residents,” she said, adding that it “completely spoils the view for visitors approaching the area.”The café would be situated in the existing castle car park and would take up six car parking spaces.In 2007 planning permission was granted for a river cruise terminal on the site. This included a single storey building and a gangway to gain access to boats on the river. Following the approval, the development process focused on an improved means of gaining access to the river. A revised proposal including a set of concrete steps was approved as a minor amendment in June 2009. In 2012 an extension to the standard five years in which to begin the development was approved.The site is within the Chepstow conservation area and an archaeologically sensitive area. The site is also located on the edge of but within the Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty and within a flood zone. The River Wye is also designated as a site of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation.