Caerwent pub's bid to save children's play area

Beer garden and play area at the Coach and Horses, Caerwent Image copyright Kate Isaac
Image caption Some neighbours claimed the beer garden and play equipment was out of keeping with the area

Hundreds of people have come to the defence of a pub facing calls to tear down its children's play area.

The Coach and Horses Inn at Caerwent, Monmouthshire, has been forced to apply for retrospective planning permission for play equipment which has stood there for nearly 30 years.

Several neighbours have opposed the presence of the park.

They said it was out of keeping with the area and attracts unwanted noise and litter.

Landlord Nick Isaac told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he remembered some equipment being there when he was a child.

"The park's been around since the early 1990s," Mr Isaac said. "If we were to lose it, the pub would suffer severely."

The council asked the landlords to obtain its permission for the play equipment after removing a bouncy castle following complaints.

The application submitted last year has drawn four objections from people living near the pub, which dates to the 17th Century.

One opponent said they were "busy picking up rubbish from the pub garden" that ended up in their field and complained of a "significant increase in noise" late into the evening from "screaming" children.

Another objector quipped: "This application should be for change of use from public house to children's' playground that sells alcohol."

Others claimed the play area looked like a "fairground" and was out of place next to a Roman wall which borders part of the site.

However, Mr Isaac said an appeal on social media to support their application had resulted in an "amazing" response, with more than 500 positive comments posted on the council's website.

Sarah Bailey, from Caerwent, voiced her support on Facebook, saying: "The pub is the heart of the community where families can come together to socialise in a fun, safe environment! We love it!"

Joanne Hume, another local resident, said: "The play area is lovely and so healthy for youngsters to be outdoors."

Councillors on Monmouthshire's planning committee will make a decision in August.

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