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House builder addresses housing shortage

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housing shortageAS THE new homes market in Wales struggles to enjoy the same positive strides towards recovery as in England, Wales’ largest house-builder, Persimmon Homes, is set to address the housing shortage in west Wales announcing plans to deliver 450 new homes across Pembrokeshire with the potential to create over 1,300 jobs over the next five years.

Signalling its commitment to house building in Wales by expanding operations into west Wales, Persimmon Homes on Thursday marked the start of works in Lamphey on 39 homes comprising two bedroom bungalows and two, three and four bedroom houses.

Construction is also set to start on a further 68 at Hermitage Farm, near Haverfordwest, early next year following planning consent last week and at Bush Hill near Pembroke once planning consent is granted.

Managing Director of Persimmon Homes West Wales, Huw Llewellyn, said:

“We have found that the local authorities in west Wales have reacted more positively to the economic realities facing housebuilders and are taking positive steps to help make developments viable through more realistic planning requirements to help generate economic development, as well as new homes.

“Persimmon Homes is the first of the major PLC house-builders to develop homes this far west in Wales. And with family roots in Carmarthen, I’m proud to be part of a company that is keen to invest in the local community and support the local supply chain.”

According to Pembrokeshire County Council’s Local Development Plan, there is a significant lack of housing in the region and this latest announcement from Persimmon Homes will provide around 90 affordable houses with the remainder available on the Welsh Government’s Help to Buy Wales scheme thus helping first time buyers and families looking to upgrade to a bigger family home to do so.

Between now and 2021, Pembrokeshire County Council has made provision for 7,300 dwellings in the Local Development Plan, enabling the delivery of 5,700 homes, and Persimmon Homes is set to deliver 8% of this over the course of the next five years.

Cllr David Pugh, Board Member of the Swansea Bay City Region and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism and Communities, said:

“Following the launch of the Swansea Bay City Region earlier this year, economic regeneration is very much the driving force behind Council activity as we strive to create jobs and sustainable economic growth.

“The announcement that Wales’ largest housebuilder is committed to investing in Pembrokeshire is a major step forward for the region and one that will present numerous opportunities for growth and regeneration and we hope to maximise the benefits of the developments for local people and businesses.”

Cllr David Simpson, Cabinet spokesperson for Housing and

Sustainability said: “From a Council point of view it’s superb for Pembrokeshire County Council to have such a large company in Pembrokeshire. Out of the 39 homes, seven will be affordable. Pembrokeshire Housing Association now has a good relationship formed with Persimmon Homes. Pembrokeshire Housing now have an agreement that the first allocations will all be local people.”

Managing Director, Huw Llewellyn said: “We plan to have the show homes open in March to April 2014 with people living here next year. It’s not a success until we have people living in the homes. We’re pleased with the relationship with the local authority.

“We’ve been welcomed here and have been working together well and we all have realistic expectations. It’s a five year plan to generate employment. People tend to think ‘How can a construction site create so many jobs?’. Well, it’s not just the boys he have working on site, it’ll be the people who will live there who will bring in trade for local people, such as a small shop – it will have more customers. It’s secondary jobs, too”.

Cllr David Pugh, Board Member of the Swansea Bay City Region and Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet member for Economy, Tourism and Communities said: “It’s great the commitment to come to this part of the world in Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire is open for business!”

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Former Chequers nightclub to reopen

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AN APPLICATION for a new premises licence for the former Chequers night club succeeded at a meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Licensing sub-committee on Thursday (Aug 22).

The former nightclub closed its doors for the last time in 2003, when it ran as a private members’ club, having had an application for a full on-licence rejected.

After failing in an attempt to close the club on that occasion, Pembrokeshire County Council became the only local authority in Wales to classify mobile homes as permanent residences in an effort to shut down the club once and for all.

The new applicant, Mrs Carmen Clemas applied for a new premises licence in respect of the club, which will be renamed the Queen of Clubs.

The Committee heard objections to the licence from local residents and heard representations from both the Police and Fire Service which pointed out that the building would need significant remedial works to it before it could re-open.

While Penally Community Council objected on the basis of events and problems at the premises almost twenty years ago, neither the Police nor Fire Service had an objection to the Club’s re-opening in principle.

Both emergency services emphasised that, even though they had no objections, they had concerns that had to be addressed.

The Committee granted the application, refusing permission for licensable activities at the Club on Sundays, apart from Sundays before Bank Holidays, and imposing strict noise control measures.

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St Davids RNLI to feature in new series of a popular TV documentary

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THE volunteer lifeboat crew of St Davids RNLI will be taking to the small screen next week as they will feature twice in the first episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Now in its fourth season the documentary series, which showcases the lifesaving work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), will be aired on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm, as well as being available on the BBC iPlayer following the broadcast. The new 10-part series features real rescues carried out by the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards around the UK and Ireland – including St Davids RNLI.

Each programme gives a unique insight into the lives and work of the charity’s lifesavers who are needed more than ever before, rescuing thousands of people and saving hundreds of lives around our coastline and on inland waterways every year. The new series features more dramatic real-life rescue footage, accompanied by emotive testimonials from the volunteer crews, lifeguards and the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on 27 August, sees St Davids RNLI launch to a crashed plane in one shout, and tow a yacht stranded in a shipping lane in another. These shouts are shown alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Judd Kohler, Station Mechanic at St Davids Lifeboat Station, said: “The first episode of Saving Lives at Sea shows two very different shouts that St Davids RNLI responded to. The programme is a great chance for RNLI supporters to catch a glimpse of the work that their kind donations go towards. We want to say a huge thank you to supporters of the RNLI, who help us to save lives at sea.”

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life. Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Last year alone, RNLI lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland rescued 9,412 people, saving 211 lives, while the charity’s lifeguards aided 32,207 people and saved 118 lives on some of the UK’s busiest beaches.

Saving Lives at Sea begins on Tuesday 27 August at 8 pm on BBC Two, and will continue throughout August, September and October.

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Pembrokeshire schools celebrate GCSE results

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S schools are celebrating students’ success in this year’s GCSE exams.

 

“On behalf of staff and governors at Milford Haven School, I would like to congratulate all Year 11 pupils on their GCSE results, reflecting the efforts and commitment they have shown over the last two years and also thank their parents/carers for their support and cooperation,” said the Head Teacher, Ceri-Ann Morris.

 

“We are pleased with a number of individual successes, in particular, our top performers include, Izzy-May Solomon (10A*, 3A’s and B), Megan Owens (12A* and A), Megan Clarke (8A* and 4A’s), Finlay Ryder, Gareth Maclachlan, Evan Price, Molly Griffiths, Elanor Evans, Beth Lewis and Lucie Mathias.

 

The school is pleased to say that all pupils left school with qualifications which will help support them to follow the path of their choice, whether that be into the sixth form, college, apprenticeships or employment.

 

We wish you all good luck in your future careers.”

Among those receiving their results was Joseph Jenkins, a 14-year-old Year 9 student, who achieved a Distinction in Advanced Mathematics.

At Ysgol Y Preseli 100% of pupils achieved qualifications equivalent to 5A*-G; 91% 5A*-C and 37% achieved at least 5A*-A grades.

Across the core subjects, the pupils achieved the following results at A*-C – Welsh 86%; English 91%; Mathematics 82%; Science 84%.

The Head Teacher, Mr Michael Davies, commenting on the results stated: “We are very proud of all the young people who have worked tirelessly to achieve these results. I would also like to thank the staff for their willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that all pupils fulfil their potential at Ysgol y Preseli.”

Amongst the top performers were: Seren Allen – 13 A*, 1 A; Nuala Camplin – 8 A*, 4 A, 2B; Cerys Chadwick – 14 A*; Annest Davies – 6 A*, 4 A, 1B; Thomas Elliott – 9 A*, 4 A, 1 B; Gethin Greenhalgh – 9 A*, 5 A; Cara James – 5 A*, 8 A; Casey Lambert- 7 A*, 7 A; Alexander Larsen – 10 A*, 4 A; Tom Palfrey – 9 A*, 3 A, 1 B; Kate Thomas – 5 A*, 5 A, 3 B; David Varney – 7 A*, 4 A, 3 B
Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has congratulated GCSE students on their results, as overall performance across Wales has improved.

This summer’s results mark the end of the significant GCSE reform journey undertaken in Wales. The last seven of reformed GCSE subjects are awarded this year including History, Computer Science and Welsh Second Language.

Speaking during her visit to King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny, Kirsty Williams said: “Today we have seen an improvement in overall performance across Wales. I would like to congratulate all learners receiving their results today and to thank the teachers who have worked so hard to deliver these new qualifications.

“Last year we saw a dramatic increase of 50% in entries for science GCSEs. I am pleased to see that entries and results are continuing on the upward trend, with more pupils gaining A*-C and more achieving the very top grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

“This increase in learners being entered means more young people are accessing qualifications that lead to greater opportunities for further science study and careers, paving the way for the future scientists of Wales.”

Following the publication of yesterday’s GCSE and Welsh Baccalaureate results David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union said: “We congratulate all students who have collected their GCSE and Welsh Baccalaureate results from today and wish them all the very best for the future. It is particularly pleasing to note that overall GCSE performance in Wales has improved by 1.2% especially given the fact that all examinations have been subject to reform in recent years. This progress is a testament to the time and effort put into their studies by pupils across Wales and the unstinting dedication of education professionals in our schools.”

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