Troy House: 'Devastated' by mansion flats rejection

Troy House, Monmouth Image copyright Jeremy Bolwell
Image caption Troy House, built in the 1680s, is said to be in urgent need of repair

The Welsh Government's blocking of plans to turn a 17th Century mansion into flats will not be taken "lying down", councillors have vowed.

The Grade II* listed Troy House near Monmouth has been derelict for years and is said to need repairs urgently.

However, a planning inspector said fears of flooding outweighed the long-term preservation of the building.

Monmouthshire councillors agreed to invite First Minister Mark Drakeford to visit the site in a bid to win support.

Troy House was built by the Duke of Beaufort in the 1680s and was sold by his descendants to an order of nuns in the early 20th Century.

It became a convent and, in later years, an approved school.

The property fell into disrepair and is now on a register of buildings at risk, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

'Very disappointed'

Last year, Monmouthshire councillors approved a plan to develop 19 flats inside the listed building with 31 others in two new purpose-built wings and one more at the gatehouse as a means of preserving the premises.

But last month housing and local government minister Julie James overturned the decision after a planning inspector's report said the site was located almost entirely within a flood zone and was considered "highly vulnerable".

The building's owner Peter Carroll said it had never flooded "in living memory" and the plans would see the ground floor of the building raised to reduce any flood risk.

Labour councillor Roger Harris said the planning committee felt "devastated" by the decision.

"This is such a fantastic building in such a fantastic site that we should not take this lying down," he said.

Head of planning Mark Hand said the council was "very disappointed" with the decision and was now considering whether to take further action.

The local authority has until 18 July to decide on whether to mount a court challenge to the ruling.

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