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Powys Planners back plans for The Cottage Inn conversion to residential use

CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert an historic 18th century pub in Montgomery into a four-bedroom house will be decided by Powys County Councillors this week.

On Wednesday, February 22, a proposal by Michael David Broxton to convert The Cottage Inn on Forden road will be in front of the Planning committee.
The Cottage Inn has been used as a visitor centre for Monty’s Brewery but closed in 2020.

The proposal has seen a huge backlash with a Save The Cottage group set up on Facebook and 85 official objections have been lodged against the conversion.
Objectors believe that the building should be kept as a pub.
They claim that there are a lack of commercial properties like this in the area, and that the conversion will affect the local economy.

Montgomery town council has also “strongly objected” to the proposal and say there is “demand” for eating and drinking hospitality businesses.

A single letter supporting the proposal has been lodge which says the conversion would: “save a disused building from disrepair.”

Planning officer Luke  Woosnam has placed great weight on the amount of time the building has been for sale.
Mr Woosnam said: “Proposals promoting alternative uses of existing neighbourhood or village shops, public houses or other services will be required to demonstrate that the premises have been actively marketed for a minimum of six months and that genuine efforts to sell or let the property over that period have been unsuccessful.
“As part of the application the agent has submitted evidence of active marketing of the property.
“The evidence submitted includes details of the sales literature, advertisement campaign and buyer interest over the period.”
Mr Woosnam explained that The Cottage Inn had been for sale from December 10, 2021 to July 22 for offers of £400,000.

Plans have been submitted to turn the former Monty’s Brewery Visitor Centre in Montgomery into a four bedroom house

An independent valuation confirmed that £400,000 was an accurate asking price.

Mr Woosnam said. “During the marketing campaign, three official viewings have been made with no follow up offers.”
“Officers are satisfied that the property has been robustly marketed at an appropriate price.
“Opportunity has been given for alternative solutions to support the long-term economic viability of the business to be explored and come forward.
“It is noted that the property was vacant for a number of years.”

Due to this Mr Woosnam advises councillors to approve the application.
Forden and Montgomery county councillor, Jeremy Brignell-Thorp is set to speak against the proposal as are representatives of Montgomery town council.

In documents that supports the proposal, planning agent Gerallt Davies of Roger Parry and Partners, said: “The very fact that the building has been used as a public house, then a curry house and then a brewery visitor centre, and none have stayed for a long period, questions the viability of a commercial premise.”