THE Vale council has opened a “planning enforcement case” after a coffee-wine bar – after its co-owner – a councillor - opened it minus planning permission.

Current Barry deputy mayor, and Vale and town councillor, Leighton Rowlands opened The Watering Hole, in St Nicholas Road, Barry, on Friday, June 14.

Dyfan ward councillor, Rowlands, who last year was the Vale of Glamorgan mayor and before that the Vale deputy mayor, invited – along with co-owner Sam Lewis – selected guests and advertised the opening date and time on social media.

The Watering Hole applicant, Cllr Rowlands proposed the property changing from A1 (Retail) to A3 (Food and Drink) to set up as a coffee shop during the day and a wine bar during the evening.

The Barry & District News reported the breach on Thursday, June 20 - having spoken to Cllr Rowlands on Wednesday, June 19.

Cllr Rowlands said he resigned from the business on Wednesday, June 19.

At a meeting on Wednesday, May 29, Barry Town Council planners agreed to accept the officer’s recommendation for “objection” on the basis that the “proposed development would have a detrimental effect upon the amenities that local residents currently enjoy due to possible noise; disturbance and traffic levels.”

Hours after the business opened residents photographed patrons crowded into the carpark outside the premises with alcoholic drinks in hand.

And they reported the business was still open beyond its licensing hours.

Following the opening, a Vale council spokesman said public complaints had been received and it would be investigating as it, the authority said, “opened without planning permission so is in breach of planning regulations”.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “No enforcement notice has been served on this business, but a planning enforcement case is open meaning the matter is under investigation.

“The name of the applicant has been amended, for which there is no charge, and the application is still to be decided by planning committee, though no date for this has yet been set.

“All representations previously received on this matter will be considered and Cllr Rowlands will need to declare an interest when the application is determined.”

Cllr Rowlands said: “I resigned as a business owner of The Watering Hole on 19th June 2019, and planning application is no longer in my name.

“Therefore, I have nothing more to add.”