The Celtic Manor Resort’s hopes to move a listed 400-year-old ruin next door to the Ryder Cup clubhouse have been rejected by local councillors against advice from their own officials.
A large majority of Newport City Council’s planning committee members voted against listed building consent being given to dismantle and move the Grade II listed Little Bulmore Farmhouse to Draenllwyn Farm, Catsash Road.
The Farmhouse is right next to the Twenty Ten Clubhouse where October’s Ryder Cup Matches will be played.
A statement from the Resort says, “The Celtic Manor Resort is extremely disappointed that the planning committee of Newport City Council has reached this decision to refuse planning permission for the proposed relocation and redevelopment of the Grade II listed building at Little Bulmore Farmhouse.
“The Celtic Manor Resort believed it had drawn up suitable plans, sensitive to the architectural merit of the farmhouse and the surrounding environment, to deconstruct, move and restore this derelict building and enhance the appearance of the entire landscape around the Twenty Ten Clubhouse in time for October’s Ryder Cup.
“After considerable investment, it had been hoped that not only The Celtic Manor Resort but also the City of Newport and Wales as a whole would be shown in the best possible light when the global spotlight of The Ryder Cup fell upon us later in the year. It is highly regrettable that this will no longer be possible as all planning application options have now been exhausted.
“As the host venue, The Celtic Manor Resort is embarrassed that this damaged and derelict building will be allowed to stand within a few yards of The Twenty Ten Clubhouse, in close proximity to the 18th green where The Ryder Cup is likely to be decided in front of the world’s television cameras.
“The feedback we have received from guests and clients playing golf on The Twenty Ten Course and dining in Rafters Restaurant at The Twenty Ten Clubhouse has been overwhelmingly supportive of our plans to relocate the building. It is extremely frustrating that our local councillors have not been equally supportive and have chosen instead to reject the carefully prepared recommendations of their own council officers.”
European Ryder Cup director Richard Hills said they have lived with the building during the recent Celtic Manor Wales Open and will do so again if necessary at the Ryder Cup in October.
He added: “Nevertheless we are surprised that the elected representation went against the recommendation of the officers and we share with Sir Terry Matthews his extreme disappointment at this decision.”
Local newspaper, The South Wales Argus, said that the decision “will make our heritage authorities look ridiculous. The Celtic Manor has offered to take the ruin down, brick by brick, and rebuild it faithfully elsewhere. But this wasn’t good enough.
“We find it hard to believe that such a ruin would be allowed to remain beside other prestige buildings, such as the new Olympic Stadium in London.
“While we agree that money cannot buy everything, we also feel that Sir Terry, who employs 600 at the resort, has used his millions to do a lot of good for both Newport and Wales and this is a poor way to repay his massive investment.”
Celtic Manor Resort www.celticmanorresort.com