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New housing plans opposite Tintern Abbey withdrawn

A view looking northwards on the A466 with Tintern Abbey to the right and the hoardings surrounding the Abbey Hotel to the left (Pic: Google Street View)

A PLAN for new housing opposite one of Wales’ most iconic historic sites has been withdrawn nearly six years after being put forward. 

It was intended building four new homes could have aided the redevelopment of the derelict Abbey Hotel that has sat unused on the opposite side of the main road from Tintern Abbey for more than a decade. 

Separate plans to demolish much of the hotel’s structures and build a new hotel in its place are currently being considered by Monmouthshire County Council. 

The hotel building is currently described as unsafe, due to its collapsed roof, and as a magnet for anti-social behaviour. Previously known as the Beaufort Arms it dates from the 19th, and in some parts, 18th century but isn’t listed. It is however in the Tintern Conservation Area and the village is part of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, now known as a national landscape. 

Hoardings currently surround the hotel that is only separated from Tintern Abbey by the A46 Wye Valley link road. 

The former Cistercian Abbey is a grade I listed scheduled ancient monument and the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales. Its remains are a mixture of building works covering a 400-year period between 1131 and 1536. Interest in the ruins developed in the 18th century  and the site was a key factor in the development of ‘Picturesque’ tourism. 

The homes would have been built on the hotel’s car park while it was also intended to convert a barn at the back of the hotel to residential accommodation. 

Plans were submitted to Monmouthshire County Council in November 2018 but it still hadn’t made a decision on whether planning permission should be recommended for approval or rejected before the application was withdrawn last week. 

Applicant Huw Jones, of Crickhowell in Powys, said he had run out of patience waiting for a decision. He owned the former Abbey Hotel at the time of the application but sold the site  towards the end of 2022. 

He said: “Nothing was getting done and it was going backwards and forwards so I was frustrated and gave up.” 

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The original plans submitted on Mr Jones’ behalf showed it was intended to develop four homes, two two-bedroom semi-detached houses which would have been affordable and two, four-bedroom detached houses. 

The plans were later amended to two new houses and the barn conversion which historic buildings body Cadw hadn’t objected to.