Pub, hotel and drive-thru development at Llanfoist will be popular with ‘the younger crowd’ says Llanfoist councillor

Thursday 20th October 2016 8:33 am
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A major deal to bring three national businesses to Abergavenny could create over sixty jobs, after the proposed site was sold to developers last week.

The 12-acre Westgate development, off Merthyr Road, Llanfoist, will see a Premier Inn, alongside a Brewer’s Fayre restaurant and a Costa Coffee drive-thru brought to the area.

Sixty-eight new jobs will be created after Pontypool firm Johnsey Estates sold the land to Whitbread, owners of the three national businesses.

The development will be opposite to the new McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant which is due to open by Christmas this year, which is also expected to bring 65 full and part-time jobs.

Mayor Chris Woodhouse said the proposed development would boost tourism and job opportunities in the area.

“We welcome the opportunities for employment and what it will do for the tourism sector here in Abergavenny. As you know, over the food festival there isn’t a free hotel room for 25 miles.

“Premier Inn would provide medium-priced spaces and would also benefit those who are on commercial breaks or day-tripping.

“Costa Coffee and McDonald’s have a good name for training youngsters. Although not everyone will stay on for life, they teach the essentials and get people into the workplace, which is always a good thing and stands them in good stead for the future,” said the Mayor.

The McDonald’s site will include 37 parking spaces and a landscaped area for outside dining.

Johnsey Estates is the developer behind the overall scheme at Westgate, Abergavenny.

The company sold three acres of land to Persimmon Homes, and after having recently completed the infrastructure to the site, concluded the sales of other plots of land in line with the planning consents granted for the Premier Inn hotel, Brewer’s Fayre restaurant and Costa Coffee Drive Thru.

James Crawford, CEO of Johnsey Estates said, “We are pleased to have concluded this latest land sale at Westgate, Llanfoist to Whitbread.

“The hotel, restaurant and drive-thru will deliver much needed investment, jobs and new facilities to Abergavenny at this important location on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road.

“Johnsey Estates will be building the unit which will be let to Costa Coffee, who will run the operation themselves. and pay us a rent. We then expect to retain the completed investment rather than sell,” he said.

The site will bring a much-needed boost to an area where tourism forms a major part of the local economy.

The total area of the Westgate development site is 12 acres (4.87 ha.) of net developable land.

The hotel, restaurant and drive thru scheme takes up a portion, and is adjacent to a-soon-to-open McDonald’s drive thru.

Kevin Murray, Head of Acquisitions (North & Ireland) for Premier Inn, said, “We are pleased to have acquired this site and to be bringing a 61-bedroom Premier Inn and Brewer’s Fayre restaurant to Abergavenny.

“As well as attracting new visitors to the area and boosting consumer choice, the new hotel and restaurant will deliver £5 million in fresh investment and create 50 new year-round jobs.”

Tom Swords, Costa Coffee Drive Thru Acquisitions Manager, said, “Costa, the nation’s favourite coffee shop brand is pleased to confirm that it will be opening a brand new drive-thru store in Abergavenny.

“As well as providing our coffee loving on-the-go customers with a quality cup of coffee while on the move, we are also going to be creating in the region of 18 new jobs.

“We are looking forward to being a part of the local community, getting involved with events; providing the store as a meeting place and helping with fundraising.”

Johnsey Estates, a Pontypool-based firm, sold three acres of land to Persimmon Homes as well as spearheading the planning applications for the three-pronged scheme.

Additionally, a planning application for a care home on the next phase was recently lodged with Monmouthshire County Council.

Llanfoist councillor Martin Hickman said he felt the development would be a ‘good thing for the area overall’.

“There was some opposition, mainly to the McDonald’s site. But I think it’ll be a good thing for the area overall.

“I represent everybody, so I have gone along with the majority who were in favour.

“It’ll bring jobs, which is a positive, especially for the younger crowd and people who would rather work more flexibly. We should all make the most of it.

“I think the Brewer’s Fayre and hotel will be popular.”

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