Home » Plans to refurbish Y Lanfa and two historic cottages in Welshpool are revealed
Mid Wales Politics Politics Powys

Plans to refurbish Y Lanfa and two historic cottages in Welshpool are revealed

POWYS County Council has lodged planning applications with itself, to refurbish, upgrade, extend and create retail space at historic buildings in Welshpool.

Both full and listed building consent planning applications have been submitted for the development which consists of Y Lanfa/The Wharf and two nearby cottages that could date back to the 18th century.

Y Lanfa is located in the Grade II listed former Montgomeryshire Canal warehouse which now combines a library and museum.

The development could become a focal point in a wider restoration project of the Montgomeryshire canal and the council hopes that refurbishing Y Lanfa will help “attract more tourists” to Welshpool.

If approved, Y Lanfa will be reconfigured internally, and an extension added, with the cottages reconfigured into a flexible office/meeting/retail space and provide storage for the museum.

Planning agent Richard Lewis of Hughes Architects explained the proposals in a Heritage Impact Assessment.

Mr Lewis said: “The main ambition with this project is to ensure the longevity of the complex of buildings at Y Lanfa and Canalside Cottages.

The Canalside Cottages in Welshpool which will also be refurbished as part of the project. Picture by Hughes Architects.

“It has come to the time when an ambitious, yet sensitive programme of refurbishment and renovation needs to be considered, not only to preserve these fine buildings, but also to ensure that there is flexibility in terms of usage.

“The intention is to respect the original building language and celebrate the fact that the Lanfa building itself once enjoyed a very simple, unencumbered footprint.

“This programme of works now unpicks all of those previous interventions and ensures that these buildings can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Mr Lewis explains that the “aim” has been to provide simplicity and clarity.

Mr Lewis added: “We have strived to avoid complication wherever we can, but this has proven somewhat challenging in terms of compliance with disability legislation, as well as the need to bring buildings back into a modern state of usage.”

A decision on the applications is expected by June 8.

In October 2021, the council and Canal Restoration Trust were told that they would receive £13.937 million from the UK Levelling Up Fund towards the scheme.

The hope is that the project would open up navigation of the canal all the way to Newtown and “unlock and unfulfilled resource” in Powys, becoming a tourist attraction for boaters, walkers, and cyclists.

In 2020, Welshpool library was closed and moved into Powysland Museum, which was rebranded as Y Lanfa/The Wharf.

The move was part of a council re-jig in Welshpool which saw staff offices at Neuadd Maldwyn close so it could be converted into an extra care facility.

The library on Brook Street was then converted into an office for council staff.

A “Save Welshpool Library” campaign was set up and 4,000 people signed a petition, and over 300 plus residents marched through the town’s streets in protest against the decision.