A HOUSING association has unveiled plans to convert a rundown former pub into flats and a community space.

Falcon Rural Housing Ltd wants to create four affordable housing flats at the former King's Arms Hotel in High Street, Wellington.

There would be two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom homes.

Its planning application to Somerset West and Taunton Council also outlines proposals for a ground floor community space.

A submission to the council says: "The ground floor, which was formerly the pub, could be used for affordable housing, however, the association feels very strongly that in such a prominent position in the town, this space needs to remain a vital service area for the community and therefore it will be used only for ‘community benefit’ purposes.

"The association is currently in talks with a group of local voluntary service providers who are looking for, and need, a centralised, easily accessible location, which they can share and put to multi-use.

"This is to enable them to grow their support in the local community and to continue to provide the understated and underfunded lifelines used by many people, including some of the most vulnerable in Wellington.

"These services are being, and will be provided by Wellington churches, voluntary groups and other small charitable groups.

"As a registered social landlord, the association does not normally provide ‘community benefit space’, and subsequently, there are no government grants whatsoever available to the association."

The King's Arms closed on December 30, 2015 and remained empty until it was bought by Falcon Rural Housing Limited in June last year.

A statement with the planning application says: "Unfortunately, during this six-year period, the King's Arms had a spate of vandalism, fire, rough sleepers and was not maintained in any way whatsoever by its former owners, Wellington Pub Company.

"As a result, the entire property, internally and externally has fallen into a complete state of disrepair and is practically derelict.

"No interesting features remain intact.

"It will be noted that Falcon Rural Housing have recently give the building a cosmetic facelift with a sympathetic redecoration of the façade which has created a significant visual improvement."