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St Davids: Controversial Premier Inn remains on development plan

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DEVELOPMENT plans for St Davids have been revised – and still feature a controversial 63-bedroom Premier Inn, which residents have been opposed to.

The site,  to the west of Glasfryn Road, will consist of 70 new homes, 38 of which will be affordable properties, in addition to the hotel.

The plans are proposed by four Applicants including Pembrokeshire Housing Association (PHA), Mill Bay Homes, Swangate Developments and Whitbread, the parent company of Premier Inn. If approved, the development will make an important contribution to meeting the need for affordable homes in St Davids and the Pembrokeshire Peninsular.

“Working with the Applicants, we are able to deliver a significant number of new homes in an area that desperately needs them” said Nigel Sinnett, Group Property Services Director at Pembrokeshire Housing Association.

“More than 50% of the homes proposed at Glasfryn Road are affordable homes, double the target for the site, which we will be able to deliver quickly should the application be approved.”

Through the involvement of Mill Bay Homes, the ‘for sale’ properties will also contribute indirectly to providing affordable homes as the surplus from the sale of these properties will be covenanted to Pembrokeshire Housing Association to fund affordable homes elsewhere.

Latest figures from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority states a need for 370 affordable homes in the National Park.

“An important objective of the development is to ensure local people benefit”, commented Matthew Owens, Operations Manager at Mill Bay Homes.

“A number of the ‘for sale’ properties will be offered as shared ownership homes, helping to make them more affordable to buyers. We also propose to explore the possibility of offering local residents or individuals with a connection to the local area, the first opportunity to buy the for-sale properties when the development is marketed.”

The plans to redevelop the allocated site were initially launched in May 2017.

“The plans have generated a lot of interest”, said Kevin Murray, Head of Property Acquisitions (North) who is leading Whitbread’s involvement in the Glasfryn Road site.

“We are convinced the new Premier Inn hotel will benefit St Davids. By contributing towards the planning application costs, we are also helping to facilitate the delivery of the new affordable homes in an area that desperately needs them.”

Planning policy in Wales encourages development on sites that can be freed from planning, physical and ownership constraints in order to create sustainable communities where people want to live. Increased ‘serviced’ hotel accommodation, such as that provided by Premier Inn, is also supported by national and regional planning policy.

“Our customers are very loyal to our brand”, continued Kevin.

“We are very good at marketing our hotels to our customer base. As well as diversifying the range of accommodation on offer in the Peninsular, a new Premier Inn hotel in St Davids will attract additional visitors to the city throughout the year, supporting the local economy. This has certainly been our experience at other seaside and traditional leisure destinations where we have opened.”

An independent economic assessment undertaken as part of the planning application estimates 40,000 guests will stay at the St Davids Premier Inn throughout the year.

These guests are anticipated to spend an additional £1.5 million per year in the local economy as they go out to eat and drink and enjoy the attractions and experiences in St Davids and the wider Peninsular.

Approximately 20 permanent year-round jobs will also be created at the hotel on opening.

The Applicants intend to submit a planning application to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority for determination in early 2018. Before doing so, the Joint Applicants will undertake a statutory consultation on the proposals starting on December 1. The consultation will run until Monday, January 8, 2018.

During this statutory consultation, the planning application documents will be available to view on the www.glasfrynroadplans.co.uk website. Comments on the application can also be submitted directly to the Applicants and will be reported within the final planning application documents.

Following the submission of the planning application, the National Park Authority will also consult St Davids’ residents on the development proposals. A decision on the proposed development is expected in spring / summer 2018.

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Drop-in session plan for Fishguard and Goodwick surgeries

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A PUBLIC drop-in session is being held in Fishguard next week to gather the views of local residents around plans to amalgamate Goodwick Surgery with Fishguard Surgery towards the end of this year.

The event will be held on Tuesday 27 February at Fishguard Town Hall from 2.30pm-7pm.

Goodwick Surgery has been managed by Hywel Dda University Health Board since April 2015. The Practice has used regular GP locums to cover the Surgery for the past 18 months and despite extensive efforts the Health Board has not been successful in attracting new GPs. Goodwick is one of a number of smaller practices in North Pembrokeshire struggling with the challenges of GP recruitment in order to deliver sustainable services.

In recent months the Health Board has been in detailed discussions with nearby Fishguard Surgery as to how the two practices could collaborate to secure future services for patients in the area. The Health Board is working with local groups and the Community Health Council to communicate all changes to the patients.

Prior to the amalgamation, patients of both Practices should continue to access services as normal. There is no need to move registration – this will be done automatically at the time and more details will be shared with patients over the coming months.

Plans are at an advanced stage with Welsh Government for the extensive refurbishment of the existing Fishguard Health Centre later this year to enable delivery of high quality services to the increased practice population. Community staff, including the District Nurse team and Health Visitors, will be located in the refurbished building, allowing better integration and working with the GP Practice. Fishguard Surgery will remain open during the refurbishment works and disruption will be minimised to enable full services to be maintained for patients.

It is anticipated that the larger, more resilient Practice will be better able to recruit additional clinical staff, including GPs, to reduce the dependence on locums. Staff currently working at Goodwick Surgery will have the option to transfer to Fishguard Health Centre as part of the larger team.

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care at Hywel Dda, said: ““As a Health Board we are committed to listening to and engaging with local populations around our proposals to strengthen our Primary Care services in the Goodwick and Fishguard area and we would therefore like to invite residents to come along and get involved in the conversation.”

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Haverfordwest: Police want to catch Labour Club gate tamperers

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating criminal damage at Haverfordwest Labour Social Club. Police told The Herald that sometime between 11am and 1pm on Wednesday, 17 January 2017, two men super-glued the padlock to the gate, and fitted an extra chain and padlock. The staff had to cut the chains and padlock with an angle grinder to gain entry to the club.

A police spokesperson added: “One of the men is described as aged in his 60s, with short, grey hair and moustache, reddened face, and wearing a dark coloured coat.

“He has a distinctive mark on the side of his nose.

“The second man is described as being younger and wearing a dark coloured parka type jacket with the hood up, loose fitting blue jeans, light coloured shoes and carrying a blue backpack.

The police have asked that anyone with information is asked to report it to PC 424 Dan Morris at Haverfordwest Police Station by calling 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembroke: Appeal after glass attack at the Old Cross Saws Inn

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THE POLICE are appealing for witnesses following an assault at The Old Cross Saws public house, Pembroke, on Saturday, 10 February.

It is alleged a man attacked a male with a broken glass, in the beer garden. As a result, the police said, the victim required stitches to his jaw.

A spokesperson from Dyfed-Powys Police told The Herald: “A 25-year-old man from the Pembroke Dock area was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm on February 10, he has since been released under investigation pending further police enquiries.”

“Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information, is urged to contact DC 920 Phil Jones at Pembroke Dock Police Station, by calling 101.

“Alternatively, anonymously contact Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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