LOCAL people are objecting to plans to change the use of a pub to a private residence, although their community council have raised no objection.

Residents are opposed to the change of use of the Halfway House Inn at Talycoed. Llantilio Crossenny Community Council have raised no objections to the proposal, but the residents say the Council have acted undemocratically.

A spokesman for the residents said: "There has been a fundamental lack of democracy over this. There has been no consultation with local people.

"It seems that some councillors did not even know about the decision.

"The first the community knew about this application was when it was posted up outside the Halfway Inn one week after the recommendation to accept it was sent by the Community Council to the planning officers."

A number of residents have written to the Community Council complaining about the way the issue was dealt with.

In their letter they say they are "deeply disappointed" about the way in which the letter recommending approval was arrived at and the fact that it gave no time for the community to represent their views.

They say it appears that only one councillor was responsible for processing the application and making the decision to recommend approval on behalf of the Community Council.

They are also upset that the letter recommending approval was sent to the County Council on July 27th a week before the public planning notice was put up at the pub and the Monmouthshire Beacon published details.

"We are bitterly disappointed that most councillors seemed unaware of this letter recommending approval and that this decision was arrived at one week before the general community even knew that there was a planning application for change of use of the Halfway House into a private dwelling."

The County Council have told residents that the letter from the Community Council can be withdrawn and the residents are asking the Community Council to do that.

Objections can be sent to the county planning department until September 19th.

The Community Council held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the situation, which was reported in last week's Monmouthshire Beacon.

At this meeting each councillor was given the opportunity to question the Chairman and councillor who had dealt with the application on behalf of the Council. There was unanimous support for recommending approval for the application given the possible consequences of opposing it.

It was also pointed out that the Community Council's views were only part of the planning process. It was the County Council's planning officer who made a decision on whether a local business was viable and passed the information on to the planning committee.