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End of the road for Chequers

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Venue to be redeveloped: The club with a chequered history

Venue to be redeveloped: The club with a chequered history

THE PLANNING inspectorate has over turned a decision of Pembrokeshire County Council, who had refused permission to owners Rob Davies and Hettie Jones to convert former Chequers nightclub into holiday apartments. The inspector, Mr Gareth Rennie, decided to override the Council’s decision as the area would benefit from new holiday accommodation in a recognised tourist area.

The site previously had permission for holiday apartment development but with the adoption of the new Local Development Plan in 2013, Pembrokeshire County Council felt this use would not be compatible with their new policies and refused to renew their decision, and most disconcertingly for the appellant they felt that the former use of the building as a night club had been totally abandoned.

However, Mr Rennie agreed with Hayston’s argument at the planning hearing that the current use was active as a boxing club and public house was likely to start operating again soon, therefore the building had not been abandoned and had an entertainment use. A presentation was also made to show how the other reasons for refusal were overcome and that the reuse of this building for a quality holiday complex would be a significant improvement to both the appearance of the building and regeneration of the area.

The applicant, Mr Rob Davies said: “I am delighted with the successful appeal and hope this will still allow a quality investment into the redevelopment of Chequers to the benefit of Pembrokeshire tourism.” In his report, the planning inspector said: “The holiday units are suited to this rural location, would make a positive contribution to the local economy, and would help prevent the further deterioration of the appeal building.”

Managing director of Hayston, Andrew Vaughan-Harries said of the decision: “We are thrilled to have won this appeal, and pleased that Mr Davies will now be able to develop this site into something far more attractive and useful to both local residents and visiting tourists.” John ‘The Dentist’ Vaughan, a former DJ who worked at the venue said: “I am saddened whenever I hear of these old local independent clubs being demolished. It marks the end of an incredible era.

To me, that is what the demolition of a club like this is – it is a devastating blow to individuality and the importance of music.” The club was closed down by authorities in 1997 following a drugs raid which led to the arrest and conviction of the then licensee Dafydd Gittins for drugs offences. He was jailed but later his conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal who said that the police ‘at best exaggerated and at worst lied’ in order to get the conviction. In 2003 local businessman Thomas Sinclair, now the editor of The Herald, ran Chequers as a private members club after the council refused to grant a new public entertainment licence for the venue. At the time multiple attempts by the council to close the club down again, including at the High Court failed.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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