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Haverfordwest: Retirement village may be built on Slade Lane

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THE SITE of a proposed Sainsbury’s supermarket is being marketed as the location for a retirement village.

National agents, Savills, has announced the launch of what it describes as ‘a significant new development opportunity’ in Haverfordwest.

Savills is marketing 6.65 acres of the land at Slade Lane for the development of a retirement village with potential for the provision of care facilities.

The 6.65-acre greenfield site is part of a masterplan to extend Haverfordwest. The masterplan – which covers a 51-acre site – sets out a residential-led development with work on the first phase due to commence in 2019.

In 2013, the County Council granted planning to build a new Sainsbury’s supermarket on land at Slade Lane, permission to the land-banking property speculation group Conygar.

At the time, Conygar asserted that permission for the store was essential to the viability of its plans to build 729 homes around it. The prospect of full-time jobs being created was a significant factor leading to the plan’s enthusiastic endorsement.

Significant infrastructure works took place, including a roundabout and signage before Sainsbury’s pulled out of the project in 2015.

At the time, then-County Councillor Peter Stock said securing a replacement anchor tenant for the site should be ‘a priority’. No new anchor tenant has been announced and it now seems that the building a supermarket is considerably less important to the housing development’s viability than was claimed at the time.

Conygar has a significant track record in Pembrokeshire and the rest of west Wales of submitting ambitious planning applications and then either withdrawing from them or scaling them back. P

lanned Sainsbury’s stores in Cross Hands and Haverfordwest did not materialise and the company withdrew from involvement in the Pembroke Dock Marina plan which had been knocking around for over a decade. In Cardigan, a planned supermarket was never built and, in January 2018, before telling the County Council of its decision, the company announced its withdrawal from a marina scheme in Fishguard.

Gareth Carter, a Director at Savills in Cardiff, is handling the sale, and comments: “The sale at Slade Fields represents an opportunity to be part of a significant new phase of development in this already popular town. Haverfordwest is incredibly well-located, being on the doorstep of Pembrokeshire National Park and close to the resorts of Tenby, St David’s, Folly Farm and Bluestone, and boasting a railway connection to all the main commercial centres in South Wales.

“Just a short walk from the town centre, and part of what is set to be a thriving new town extension, this site will undoubtedly attract interest from regional and national operators. With over 65s accounting for nearly 20% of the population of the town, we expect there will be strong demand for housing and apartments in this location.”

The land at Slade Fields is being offered to the market as a whole or in parts and the seller is willing to consider proposals on a subject to planning basis.

With increasing pressure on health and social care a factor in the future of health provision and council services in Pembrokeshire, it remains to be seen how the additional care burden will be absorbed by already stretched local services if a retirement village is built.

The Herald asked Pembrokeshire County Council to comment on the proposed scheme.

A Council spokesperson said: “The masterplan referred to by Savills is a different one to the Haverfordwest town centre masterplan.

“The owners of the Slade Lane site were required to produce a masterplan for the development of the site when they put forward their initial proposals.

“This masterplan has been approved and will inform the reserved matters applications for the site.

Pembrokeshire County Council has not had any involvement with Savills’ proposals for the Slade Lane site.”

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Police officer was assaulted on Christmas Day

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A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Haverfordwest appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 15) to face a charge of assault by beating against a police officer.

Tiffany Rowlands, of West Court, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Gareth Potter on Christmas Day.

Prosecutor, Sian Vaughan said: “The officer was at the defendant’s property searching the childrens’ bedrooms.

“Rowlands pushed the officer to the chest, and after she calmed down apologised following the incident.”

Defence solicitor, Mark Layton, said: “There’s no record of any injury. They were upstairs, the lights were off so it was dark, and she realises it was wholly inappropriate.”

Magistrates fined Rowlands £40 for the offence and ordered her to pay £85 prosecution costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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Milford Haven: Booms to be removed following oil spill

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BOOMS installed earlier this month to contain an oil spill in the Milford Haven waterway will be removed tomorrow (Jan 17).

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and partner agencies have continued to survey the affected areas since the incident on 3 January and are satisfied that they have contained as much oil as possible.

Where oil has been found on local beaches, Valero’s clean up team have removed it under advice of NRW officers.

The investigation into how this incident, and the previous oil spill in December 2018, happened is ongoing.

Following further assessments and an inspection of the affected fuel pipelines, Valero now believe that no more than 500 litres of oil was released during the incident on 3 January – significantly less than originally feared.

But the pipelines will remain closed after NRW took action last week to suspend their use. NRW will not allow Valero to reopen the pipelines until it is satisfied they can operate without causing further damage to the local environment.

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales, said: “Following a swift response from everyone involved, much of the pollution has been contained and cleaned up quickly, reducing the impact it could have had on wildlife and the environment.

“Along with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any further reports of oil washing ashore in the coming weeks.

“Valero continue to support our efforts and cooperate with our enquiries into how the incidents happened. Our investigation also continues as we consider what further action we need to take to stop this happening again.”

NRW is asking people who live in the area to report any signs of pollution to their 24/7 incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.

The multi-agency response to this incident has involved the following organisations: NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Milford Haven Port Authority, Marine and Coastguard Agency, Public Health Wales, Food Standards Agency.

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Fishguard: Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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