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Nursery at listed building in Pontymoile could expand into adjoining corn barn

Little Chums already operates from the main house at Court Farm (Pic: Torfaen County Borough Council planning file)

A NURSERY based at a listed building on the outskirts of Pontypool wants to expand into an adjoining 17th century corn barn. 

Little Chums day nursery operates at the main house at Court Farm, which is a Grade II-listed building. It adjoining barns are also listed. 

Pontypool Park Estate, which owns the farm beside the A4042 Usk Road at Pontymoile, near the Horse and Jockey pub, has applied for listed building consent to allow it to use the barn as an extension to the nursery and office space. 

It’s hoped this listed corn barn can be converted to house an expanded nursery (Pic: Torfaen County Borough Council planning file)

Alterations to the barn would include the installation of glass screens into its main openings and glazed lights into ventilation slots. 

An “inappropriate” late 20th century staircase would also be removed from the barn and new toilets added which will result in the removal of “remnants” of 19th century machinery and a hay loft floor.  

A heritage impact submitted as part of the application states: “Whilst this is regrettable, the machinery is not intact and is incomplete.” 

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Allowing the alterations will, the statement concludes, ensure the otherwise “redundant building” that could become “at risk” has a future and will support the existing nursery and the local community. 

“The alteration does represent a low level of harm, but this is outweighed by the preservation of the building overall through having a viable future and its use, contributing to the sustainability of the business that occupies the farm and the wider community that uses it.” 

The site isn’t in a conservation area and is just outside the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. It’s thought the barn was originally a free standing building but attached to the main house by later adaptations. 

The heritage statement also describes the house and its barns, and the proposed new use, as contributing to telling the story of Welsh agriculture. 

It states: “The buildings represent a number of distinct phases in the development of the traditional Welsh farm from its late 17th century origin through expansion in the 19th century and more recent farm diversification where the barns have fallen out of traditional use and require a new purpose in order to preserve them and enable sustainability.” 

The application is being considered by Torfaen Borough Council planners.