A COUNTRY pub that dates back more than 170 years is to convert part of its bar to a one-bedroom holiday let. 

The Red Hart, in Llanvapley between Monmouth and Abergavenny, has said it needs the additional rental income from holidaymakers to recover losses from the period when pubs were forced to shut during the 2020 and 2021 Covid lockdowns as well as to cover rising food prices and other cost increases. 

Monmouthshire County Council’s planning department has approved the application as it said it will support the retention of a pub in what it classes as a “minor village”. 

Planning officer Kate Bingham said in a report: “It is clear that the accommodation would only form a small part of the overall use of the ground floor of the building as a pub and will assist with the continued opening of the pub rather than a loss of the facility.” 

The council has a policy to only allow the conversion of community facilities such as pubs in limited circumstances and to also oppose the change of use of part of a facility if “it would prejudice the long-term retention of the remainder”. 

The report stated the Red Hart is shown as a public house on the historic 1846 map and that accommodation within pubs is common historically and would have a “negligible impact” on neighbours. 

Ms Bingham’s report also stated that there has been an “historic enforcement notice” against residential use of the ground floor of the pub but that shouldn’t mean the current application couldn’t be approved. 

A covering letter submitted as part of the application stated a separate pre-application request has also been made “for the conversion of an adjacent stables into a habitable building.” 

The letter stated the conversion of part of the bar to the holiday let will support the continued operation of the pub and restaurant, thought its covers will be reduced from 74 to 48 while the capacity of the bar will remain at 20 people. 

The letter stated: “The diversification will help provide funds from the rental helping financially to recoup losses inactivity through Covid and ongoing rising food and drink costs as a result of other factors.” 

The letter also produced calculations that showed the changes won’t increase foul waste, which was accepted by the planning department which had to consider the issue as Llanvapley is in the phosphorous sensitive catchment area of the River Usk Special Area of Conservation.