Campaign to save Barry's Castle pub: Brewery submits new plans
CAMPAIGNERS battling to save one of Barry's best-loved boozers have insisted their fight will continue - even though the brewery has amended its plans and will keep the pub open in the immediate future.
Brains, which own The Castle Hotel in Jewel Street, has lodged new proposals to convert the popular pub into five two-bed residential apartments while retaining the public house aspect.
But the pub's regulars say that although they are pleased Brains has listened to their views against closure, the new proposals don't guarantee the long-term future of the watering hole.
Steve James, chairman of the campaigning group, said they had yet to meet with Brains representatives and had only spoken to an architect.
"We feel we are making progress, and we are pleased the short-term future has been assured," he said.
"But we still have concerns about the long-term and medium future.
"Never mind promises about more space eventually - we still want people to object to these new plans on the grounds that the pub will be too small, with no cellar space, no plans as to what is happening with the basement, nowhere to smoke and nowhere to store bins.
"There is also no kitchen so we believe the whole plan is compromised and leaves no scope for developing the pub or community use."
Sales and marketing director at Brains, Richard Davies said: "Having listened to the objections to the development of The Castle locally, we have decided to amend our application to partially develop the site for residential purposes, while retaining a licensed premises at the site. "The building is currently too large to operate viably and we hope that reduced operating costs and increased local patronage in the future will allow us to continue to trade from the site."
Vale Council director of development services, Rob Thomas, confirmed amended plans were received this month, for partial demolition and conversion of The Castle Hotel for five two-bed residential apartments and retention of Class A3 use in part of ground floor with ancillary accommodation.
The application is expected to go before the Vale Council planning committee on October 4.
"I have also met with local residents and discussed the matter with the planning agent," added Mr Thomas.
"It is clear that the change in description is an acceptance of the concerns of residents at the total loss of the public house."