Tenby’s former Conservative club, closed since the Covid pandemic, has been given the go-ahead to revert to a single dwelling, a position it has not occupied since the 1940s.
In an application submitted to national park planners, Andrew W Davies, through agent Aaron Mills, sought permission for a change of use of the Hazelwell Club, St Florence Parade – along with internal alterations – into a five-bedroom single dwelling.
Tenby Town Council raised no objection to the application, within the boundary of Tenby centre and the conservation area.
A report for planners stated: “The ‘club’ closed at the start of the Covid pandemic and has remained as such since. It has now surrendered it licence and its affiliation with the Conservative Club and the applicant has stated that the building is in a poor in a poor state of repair and not fit to reopen.”
A similar 2021 application was refused by park planners on the basis there was a “lack of evidence to justify that the community facility was no longer required, not commercially viable or that reasonable attempts had been made to secure suitable employment or affordable housing uses,” the report said.
A supporting statement by agent Aaron Mills detailed the history of the four-storey Hazelwell Club, built in 1881, and a private residence up to 1947 when it was converted into residential flats, before later becoming the Conservative Club on the lower floors, a flat remaining on the upper floors.
Due to financial difficulties of the Conservative Club, Mr and Mrs Davies purchased the building in December 2005 giving the Conservative Club a 15-year free rental period, later backed by an £80,000 loan.
By 2019 the club was only open on weekends after years of dwindling membership due to an elderly clientele, later ceasing trading due to Covid 19 long term restrictions.
In May 2021, the club vacated the building and paid the £80,000 loan back.
“On handover back to the landlords it was evident there had been little expenditure both externally and internally of the buildings upkeep. The condition of the building could only be described as poor throughout when seeking a new commercial tenant or put on the open market as a commercial and residential building for sale,” the statement said.
The property was, in 2021, placed on the open market in the region of £550,000, but there was little or no interest, the applicants now seeking to convert it back to a family residence as it was from 1881 through to 1947, with the addition of two first-floor rooms being offered as Air B and B accommodation when available.
The application was conditionally approved by park planners.