PLANS to open a new chapter in the life of a historic building in Caerleon have been given the green light.
The Priests’ House is a Grade II listed building near the center of the village and was originally built as a presbytery for the priest of a nearby church.
There are now plans to return the property to its original intended use as a long-term private residence for clergy.
The project will involve sweeping renovations to the property, including the removal of many non-original features and the demolition of some outbuildings which are considered “poor later additions” to the house.
The property was built in 1885 and was granted listed building status in 2002 for its special historic character. It is one of many listed buildings in Caerleon.
The planning application for the ongoing works said they had fallen into disrepair in recent years and had only “limited access for maintenance by the Archdiocese”.
“The property has therefore suffered greatly from neglect and a lack of ventilation which has resulted in significant condensation, mold growth and deterioration of surface materials, fixtures and fittings,” the application states.
Council planners noted that the priests’ house “is in poor condition” and occupies “a prominent position” in the village.
Some work has already been done on the property, including the removal of non-original flooring and fixtures to combat mold and “prevent further decline,” according to documents.
Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT) were consulted on the plans and noted the location of the property within the archaeologically sensitive area of Caerleon, which is rich in Roman and medieval history.
GGAT said there is “the possibility of encountering archaeologically significant remains” during the nomination, although the demolition work is “of a relatively limited scale”.
Council officials said the claimant had revised the plans following some initial concerns, adding that they were satisfied that “the changes and additional information are sufficient and would result in the overall preservation of the historic and architectural interest of the listed building. “.
The plans were approved with conditions, including that the applicant “identify and record any features of archaeological interest discovered during the works”.