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Residents’ anger as Lower Priory on the brink – pub already flooded



RESIDENTS of Lower Priory in Milford Haven had a sleepless night last night as they grappled with rising water levels following significant rainfall.

Petrified of a repeat of the flood which wrecked so many homes in November 2018, the fire brigade was called – and some home owners telephoned the council’s emergency out of hours hotline to get deliveries of sand bags.

A source at Milford Haven Docks told The Herald that they were doing their best to keep the water level in the marina below 27 feet to alleviate the rising water the best they could – but residents gathered in the early hours of the morning on a flooding Priory Inn car park to discuss, under the floodlights of a fire engine, their options.

Our reporter spoke to many residents who said that they felt the issue of flooding events was not being taken seriously by the Milford Haven Port Authority which owns the shopping centre built on the partly infilled pill. Culverts are not sufficient, and had not been regularly cleared of debris – although there had been some action following the major floods two years ago which saw water levels rise 8 feet in places.

Pill Priory: One home was an inch or so from being flooded, only saved by a large pump

Ian Banister, the resident who is co-ordinating with the statutory authorities, said he was sick to death of my own voice.

In an email he sent to the Port today he wrote: “In the early hours this morning one of the residents phoned the pier head operator who was unaware of our plight. He was asked what the level of the lakes were in particular Havens Head, on his computer screen and he could not answer, he did not know and could not say even what the levels were earlier in his shift. This proves that there is no consistency, if not any, in monitoring the lakes on their computer screen, and neither monitoring CCTV.”

He added: “Nobody is physically paying a personal site visit regarding water level inspection in particular in night time. After the flood of 2018 a protocol by PCC was set up that Jonathan Rees and myself were given a phone number to phone PCC emergency team. They in turn would approach MHPA and relevant personnel elsewhere. This we phoned several times early hours this morning but nobody answered.

“We were then forced to phone the Marina office and the Pier Head Control Tower where we were given the usual text book reply. Some of the residents visited the marina themselves.

“Our properties are surrounded by water once again, the Priory Inn is devastatingly ruined once again.

“Words simply cannot explain how we all feel. We have been let down once again.

“For the third time this week we ask you, when is the second sluice gate going to be repaired after being out of service for over ten years, when?

He asked the Port for clarification on some key points – he wrote: “Why cant you drop your water level to a historic level of 25 foot ? Its been done before, why can you not take mitigation measures to accomplish this again?

“Dredge out your Marina!”

Emergency services at Lower Priory early hours of Dec 19

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire County Council told The Herald: “After a period of sustained rainfall, and with ground conditions now saturated, water levels have risen in the Pill adjacent to Lower Priory, Milford Haven. Water entered one property – the public house at Lower Priory.

“The Fire & Rescue Service provided an operational & tactical response and attended Lower Priory last night. Pembrokeshire County Council operatives also attended and sand bags were deployed. The Council continues to work closely with the Fire & Rescue Service to review this situation.

“The forecast indicates showery spells over the next few days, then a longer period of rain developing across the county during Sunday night until first light on Monday morning. The forecast indicate rainfall totals look as if they will be much less than we have seen last night and earlier in the week.

“Further spells of rain are likely again on Monday night/Tuesday morning and again during Tuesday night and into Wednesday, although similarly at the moment the rainfall amounts do not look as large as we have seen at times this week.

“The Council has reviewed the situation, and given the forecast prediction and the situation as it stands, no specific additional actions are planned for Lower Priory area. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with Fire & Rescue service to evaluate the risks and respond accordingly.”

The Milford Haven Port Authority has been asked for a comment.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan



MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link:

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.


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Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence



GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms



AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website:

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