Penyrheol’s Bowls Inn to be turned into shops
A planning application to build three shop units on the site of the Bowls Inn, Penyrheol, has been approved by councillors.
The controversial decision by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday has angered former council leader Lindsay Whittle, who says the new shops will damage local businesses.
The Bowls Inn was the latest victim of pub closures blighting the country when it closed in October.
The scheme by owners Newbridge Construction, which bought the premises from Admiral Taverns, will see the pub building partially demolished and converted into a shop unit. There will also be two other separate shop units built.
The site has been used as a pub location since 1841, according to information from the census gathered by Caerphilly Local History Society chairman Richard Williams.
Newbridge Construction has previously said the pub is not economically viable.
Mr Whittle, who still represents Penyrheol as a councillor, criticised the decision to approve the plans and warned it would lead to the closure of shops in his ward and in the Aber Valley.
He said: “This is a terrible decision because it further damages local businesses and is a hammer blow for shops that are trying hard to make a living. We need to think about the consequences of decisions on communities before they are made.
“At the meeting the agent for the applicants Newbridge Construction said that the old Bowls Inn site would be an ideal site for a new Tesco, Sainsbury’s or a Spar. It will also lead to increased traffic congestion.
“We already have four Tesco’s, an Asda, a Morrison’s and a Lidl in the town at present. Is there any justification for more? Perhaps changing the name of Caerphilly to supermarketville or Tescotown will be next.
“I just don’t believe that the complete domination of the big supermarkets, at the expense of local businesses, can be good. And I hope if this development goes ahead local people will show what they think by steering clear of it. Another Tesco or the like is the last thing Caerphilly needs.”
According to the actual planning application by Newbridge Construction, tenants have yet to be found for the site.Follow @CaerphillyObsvr