PEOPLE travelling through Fishguard Square have been met with an unwelcome sight after a prominent town pub was boarded up with ugly metal sheets.

The Abergwaun Hotel, which has been empty for some time, was boarded up with metal sheets on Tuesday morning, sparking outrage from local residents and members of the town council.

The town clerk Sarah McColl-Dorion said: “I saw the cladding go up on the Abergwaun and immediately phoned the regional manager for Brains and asked him to explain why.”

She also contacted Matthew Pyart, the Building Conservation Officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, who, she said, was surprised to hear what had happened and is taking the matter "very seriously."

The clerk added: “Needless to say, there has been a large backlash about the Abergwaun on Facebook and I know several local residents have phoned Brains to complain.”

The hotel is not a listed building, but it is in a conservation area.

The issue was discussed at Tuesday night’s Fishguard and Goodwick Town Council meeting.

The deputy mayor, Councillor Richard Grosvenor said: “To slap pieces of tin on the windows is an absolute eyesore. As far as economic regeneration is concerned it’s the exact opposite.

“The hotel hasn’t been in a good state and there’s no question Brains would like to offload it to someone.”

Cllr Alex Allison said: “This couldn’t have happened at a worse time of year. You look at it and you could be in the middle of Belfast. It looks awful.”

The mayor, Cllr Mike Lloyd said: “The hotel is in a prime tourist location. We’re going to try our hardest to get something done.”

A spokesman from Brains said: "Our insurers have insisted that we board the pub to protect the building.

"The last thing we want is a closed pub however the Abergwaun previously proved unviable. We are more than prepared to enter into discussions on the future of the pub with any interested parties."

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council, told the Western Telegraph: "The County Council has been informed of the situation at the Abergwaun Hotel, which is located within the Fishguard conservation Area.

"The planning enforcement section will be visiting the property to assess whether there are any planning implications."