Campaigners from Minera were out in force at tonight's planning committee to fight to save the village's only pub.
Before the committee were plans by the owner of Ty'n y Capel pub to change it to a day centre for the elderly. The owner had already closed the pub without notice and started his new business, thus breaching a key planning guideline that Wrecsam Council has established to defend pubs in the borough.
Policy S9 seeks to protect local facilities such as pubs and will only permit other use where:
• the use is no longer viable and all reasonable attempts to sell or let the business over a 12-month period have proved unsuccessful;
• the building is in a derelict or unsightly condition
• the loss of the facility would not prove detrimental to the social and economic fabric of its locality.
The many sustained objections from villagers carried the day and it's clear that the villagers want to go a step further to emulate the Raven in Llanarmon yn Iâl and become a community-run pub. It was apparent from the passion of the protesters that the threat of losing the pub has spurred them into action - it's a great example to follow for every community.
This positive news comes on the same day that Plaid Cymru's North Wales AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd revealed that Wrecsam and Clwyd South constituencies had lost 32 pubs in the past three years alone. Such heavy losses in one borough are partly due to the economic climate but also because the pubcos are hammering tenants with high rents and other costs. More also needs to be done on a national level to ensure that pubs get the encouragement to sell local brews, for example by reducing the duty on micro-breweries and small brewers.