Plans to convert a vacant village inn into a house have been refused.

An application to convert the Seven Stars Inn, Llechryd, was submitted by J Brennan, through agent Robert Bowen Planning & Development LTD, saying the current use was unviable after a failure to replace its previous tenants who left two years ago, and attempts to sell the property had failed.

The Seven Stars was placed on the market in February 2022, for £350,000; the price reduced to £320,000 in September 2023 and reduced again to £318,000 in December, with an offer of £280,000 rejected.

A supporting statement by the agent said: “There is no direct evidence submitted in relation to financial viability however, given that the premises has now been vacant for a period of almost two years, the lack of interest and failure to secure new tenants or buyers clearly indicates that the future use of the premises as a guest house is not viable.”

The statement added: “It is considered that alternative community uses are limited due to the scale and layout of the building, which has only two relatively small ground floor rooms.

“Whilst there has been an expression of interest from the community council no offers have been made. This is not surprising given the funding required and the community council has an existing hall (Coracle Village Hall) which is only 118m from the site.

“Whilst the premises may be suitable for a number of small-scale community uses these could be easily accommodated within the existing village hall, which is also licensed.”

The statement said that other meeting place, accommodation and food provision places were available in the village, and the conversion would “result in a significant reduction in vehicle traffic to the overall betterment of highway and pedestrian safety”.

One of those raising concerns was county councillor Chris James, who said a number of residents had expressed their unhappiness about its potential loss.

Commenting on the application, he added: “Losing this location would mean that the villagers/local businesses would not be able to welcome people to entertain them in the village and would have to travel to Cardigan. We must look to see if it is possible to keep the Seven Stars open before allowing this request and losing this hospitality resource forever.”

The application was refused by Ceredigion planners on the basis it would “result in the loss of an important facility within the settlement to the detriment of the local community,” and it was not “sufficiently proven that the existing use of the building is unviable, nor that no other community use can be viably established”.