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Milford Haven: Outline plans for Docks Master Plan approved

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docksMEMBERS of Pembrokeshire Council’s Planning and Rights of Way committee meeting have given outline planning consent for the Milford Docks Master Plan.

The application before Tuesday’s Committee meeting surrounded the potential uses as part of the developments including commercial, retail and fishing uses.

The plans also included a new proposal to rebuild the old docks office in full and move it to a new location to account for the new access into the site.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plans which are subject to a number of planning conditions.

These include a further three applications which have been delegated to the director of development. These are for the extension of the existing Dock Wall and erection of a Marina Services Building, demolition of the former Docks office and the demolition of the Burnyeates building.

Speaking on the one change to the application, agent Rob Peters said: “The new safe access into the site will be accompanied by a full rebuild of the listed building in response to consideration by the committee in December.

“It will be rebuilt in whole in close proximity to the existing listed buildings to create a group value that exists already.

“The development will create 600 new jobs across its lifetime. It will provide new retail apartments which will provide a modernised offer within Milford and bring significant economic benefits to both parts of the town centre.

“It will provide 16 affordable houses which will benefit local people. It will improve pedestrian, cycling and public transport links as well as vehicle movements into the site.

“Investment will also be made in the fishing industry, creating 56 new jobs. There will also be new public areas, gardens, seated places, local areas for playing.

“The Torch Theatre has objected on the basis of a cinema being included but as the officer confirmed, what’s being applied for is a class D2 leisure use which can accommodate a range of uses and not a cinema necessarily.

“The regeneration benefits are substantial. It represents a multi-million pound investment for Milford. It will enhance the town and it will create a destination for local people and tourists and this will be good for the Torch Theatre as well as for Milford”.

Objecting to the plans, Alison Hardy said: “I can’t understand how one of our historic buildings is going to face demolition, even if it is being rebuilt in a new place. The office is part of my heritage; it is an integral part of the heritage of the town. It’s a much loved grade two listed building that should not be demolished.

“There was also a majority vote against the demolition at Milford Haven Town Council last night. If a grade two listed building is demolished and rebuilt it will not then be the old Docks company office. The history will be gone from the landscape and confined to the memories of the older people of the town.”

Cllr Brian Hall moved the recommendation for approval and added: “This is the most important planning application in relation to Milford Dock. It is essential to the town of Milford in a time of recession.

“The Port Authority is one of the major sponsors for the Torch Theatre so the last thing they want to do is cause them a problem.

“This will bring an additional spend of £45million to the town. This is a £90million development which is absolutely fantastic”.

Cllr Peter Stock added: “Recession is one of the reasons put forward for the demise of our town centres. It is vital for the redevelopment of our towns and each town must play to its strengths. In Milford that is the docks area and the waterways, this is so important. It is a tremendous amount of money that is there to be spent in this county”.

Cllr Gwilym Price said: “It is a fantastic sum of money; this is so good for the area. One of my concerns is with the Torch Theatre and I believe more consultation could resolve this matter and I would hope that they can come to an agreement”.

Cllr Jacob Williams said: “It is a shame that the docks office is going to be moved. It is an optimistic project but there aren’t really any objections to it. I do share the concerns of the Torch Theatre but we are here today to discuss the use as part of the development”.

Speaking after the meeting, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don, said that it was a significant milestone in a long-term strategy. “Our investment in Milford Dock, and indeed Pembroke Port, is part of a wider Port strategy that seeks to diversify the business by strengthening trade in areas not connected to oil and gas. We want to maximise the contribution these two assets make to the business and to the local economy.

Alec concluded, “This is a massive new opportunity for the town and we look forward to working with others to make this vision a reality”.

Jeff Teague, Estates Director for the Port of Milford Haven has been leading the master planning process and was delighted with the decision. He said: “Now that Outline Planning has been approved we can move forward with marketing this exciting development opportunity. We are already talking to a number of development agents who are interested in working with us. They will carry out extensive market testing and it is at this stage that detailed plans will begin to define and shape the specific parts of the development.

“In the meantime, work is progressing in other key areas of the destination. New buildings are emerging that will house modern, food grade units for the local fishing industry and create new opportunities for them to expand and diversify. On the marina side, the new £6m lock gates are in commissioning and final testing phase, soon to be launched in readiness for this year’s boating season. We won’t stand still. This investment is much needed in Milford Haven and we are committed to making it a success”.

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Marloes pensioner in child abuse images case

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A PENSIONER has been bailed to attend Swansea Crown Court by magistrates sitting in Haverfordwest Law Courts this week.

Derek Lister, 72, of Marloes is accused of making indecent photographs of children.

He appeared before the bench, on Tuesday (Apr 13).

Lister was represented by Redkite Solicitors.

The court heard that between June 2009 and November 2019 in Marloes, Pembrokeshire, Lister allegedly created 3 indecent category A images of a child, 14 indecent category B images of a child and 152 indecent category C images of a child.

He will now appear at Swansea Crown Court on May 11 at 10am for the next hearing after the local court declined jurisdiction.

Lister has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

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PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

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