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Plans for Milford Docks approved

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MEMBERS of the Planning and Rights of Way committee meeting have given outline planning consent for the Milford Docks milford docks master planMaster Plan, in a move which could pave the way for hundreds of new jobs for the town.

The application before Tuesday’s (Feb 24) 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 £45m to the town. This is a £90m 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.”

Milford Haven’s Mayor, Cllr Eric Harries, told the Herald: “I am very conscious of the importance of this development within our town of Milford Haven. As a native I recognise the importance of retaining our heritage. I also am aware that considerable negotiations have taken place in order to facilitate opinions in relation to the former Docks Office and its relocation. It is to be hoped now that the scheme comes to fruition as quickly as possible and benefits the people and the economy of the area and provides much needed extra employment.”

Peter Doran, Artistic Director at The Torch, also gave his views to the Herald saying: “The Torch Theatre is 100% behind the regeneration of Milford Haven and therefore welcome the Masterplan approval. We look forward to working with the Port of Milford Haven on the cultural aspects of the plan which we are sure will be mutually beneficial to both parties as well as to the town and surrounding areas.”

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements

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PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

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POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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