A PUB’S bid to retain a marquee next to a riverbank which prompted hundreds of objections has been withdrawn.
But Amanda Cooper, landlady of the Boat Inn in Chepstow, said she still plans to keep the covered drinking area on a paved area beside the river Wye and will shortly be submitting an amended planning application.
Her original application to keep the 9 metre x 12m marquee which was first put up in 2020 to provide an outdoor space due to Covid restrictions, prompted more than 200 comments, in opposition and if favour, to be lodged with Monmouthshire County Council.
Objectors claim the marquee is blocking access to steps leading to the water and a pontoon, where boats can be moored, and which they say is vital for rescue teams. Ms Cooper has denied anyone has been blocked from accessing the river and said she has maintained a clear path through the area to the pontoon.
Among those to have objected are the Chepstow and District Yacht Club and the Chepstow Boat Club which said the area, which is opposite the pub on The Back, “has historically been used for the laying-up of boats since the time Chepstow was truly a port” and by local boatmen since 1994.
The club, which said the area is owned by the county council, also said there had been an agreement on shared use of the area, when the pub reopened in 1997, which was displayed in the pub, and 10 years later the club paid for the area to be paved.
It also said as the marquee has an electric lights and heating gas canisters it cannot easily be taken down and it has been unable to access the whole area with a crane to lift out the pontoon. It has suggested a smaller marque should be in place only during the summer months.
It has claimed without “full access” to the pontoon for maintenance it would have to be removed which it said would mean boats could no longer be moored on the river.
The club said the town has lost its deep water wharf to new housing and said: “We must not lose the only remaining evidence of our maritime history or the ancient port of Chepstow will become just that –history.”
Chepstow Town Council had also objected to the original application on the grounds it would “compromise safety access to the pontoon” and isn’t in keeping with the area.
Ms Cooper said the new application, which will be submitted on her behalf by a planning agent, will address access concerns and she said she has collected more than 500 signatures on a petition in support of retaining the marquee in just over a week.
She also said the marquee has been popular during the recent warm weather: “Last week in the blazing heat there were mums with little kids, older people and people with dogs using it.”