PLANS to convert a former Forest pub with links to US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan have been given the go-ahead.

Rob Wilson, owner of the Old Ferry Inn Business Centre in Beachley, has been granted permission by Forest of Dean District Council for new homes at the site.

The remaining part of the former inn, which was recently converted into offices, will be converted to provide five apartments.

The scheme also includes the construction of two townhouses and a lifeboat store for the use of the Severn Area Rescue Association.

Officers recommended approving the scheme as its benefits outweighed any negative aspects of the proposals.

Matthew Kendrick, the applicant’s agent, said the “well thought out” proposals were the final stage of the regeneration of the Old Ferry Inn site.

He told the development management committee on November 14 that it has been redeveloped into a range of high quality office spaces which provide employment opportunities.

“We are now seeking to use the remaining parts of the site to provide much-needed housing. It will then provide a vibrant and balanced mix of employment space and homes on the site.”

Councillor Richard Burton (G, Newnham) proposed approving the scheme and councillors voted unanimously to grant permission.

Local folklore has it that the former inn at Beachley, which is in the shadow of the Severn Bridge and alongside the former Aust Ferry slipway, played host to the US musician during his most contentious ‘Judas Tour’.

A picture of Bob Dylan on the slipway at Aust featured on the front of No Direction Home a 2005 documentary film by Martin Scorsese that traces the life of  Dylan, and his impact on 20th-century American popular music and culture.

This picture was taken after a gig in Bristol in May 1966 on his way to perform in Cardiff. The then 25-year-old Dylan is rumoured to have called in at The Old Ferry Inn on his way to the Welsh capital.