The use of Llantarnam Abbey as a home for nuns is coming to an end.
A planning application to convert a former care home in New Inn into a convent for the Sisters of St Annecy has been given the green light by the county borough council.
The Sisters of St Joseph Annecy, part of an international congregation, have been searching for a new home ahead of their “impending move” from the Grade II*-listed Llantarnam Abbey in Cwmbran, according to a planning statement.
Plans to convert a vacant care home in The Highway, New Inn, were approved by Torfaen council planners last week.
A planning statement says the proposal will provide “a viable reuse” of the vacant care home.
“It will enable the Sisters to maintain a presence within Torfaen, as well as provide much needed accommodation, given their impending departure from the current location at Llantarnam Abbey,” the statement says.
An ‘extensive’ site search has been carried out, with the conversion of a property at Tintern House in Cwmbran also considered.
However this was considered “extremely unlikely” to receive planning permission due to being on an established industrial estate, and the Sisters were advised to look at alternative locations.
The convent will have a community of four active sisters and 15 sisters who need care for varying needs.
Care will be provided by staff employed by the convent, with no more than eight staff on the site at a time, as well as a maximum of four community cars.
A planning statement says the building will not require “significant alterations” to be used as a convent, given its previous use as a care home.
It says the plans will allow “a vibrant reuse” of the property, which will stop it falling into disrepair and becoming a target for anti-social behaviour.
The property has 13 parking spaces, including two disabled spaces and an ambulance parking bay.
A decision notice approving the plans was issued by Torfaen council on Wednesday, June 1.