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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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Charity

Puffin Party fundraising initiative returns for another year

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THE Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust is inviting people to host a Puffin Party this July, to celebrate the Trust’s 6th birthday and raise vital funds.

The Trust has raised more than £380,000 from a range of sources since 2018, including projects such as People, Paths & PollinatorsMake More Meadows and Wild About Woodlands.

It has also provided Force for Nature Grants to help community groups and local organisations boost biodiversity, act on climate change or educate others on these important topics.

Puffin Parties were added to the list of fundraising activities last summer, and proved so popular that they are being brought back for another year.

Director of the Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust, Katie Macro, said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Puffin Parties. These events not only help us raise essential funds but also bring the community together in celebration of our beautiful natural environment.

“Once again, there’s plenty of inspiration on hand to get you started, including some party food recipe cards (with healthier options available), invitation templates and some ideas for party activities.

“We encourage everyone to get involved and help us celebrate by arranging a tea party, coffee morning or cake sale with friends, family, colleagues, or the local community during the month of July. As well as having fun, you’ll be making a difference in protecting our stunning coastline and safeguarding it for future generations.”

The celebratory resources, including invitation templates, new recipe cards, and craft activity templates and instructions are available for download at https://pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales/how-you-can-help/puffinparty.

To find out more, register your interest and access the special celebratory visit www.pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales.

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Business

RWE launches pre-application consultation for RWE Pembroke Battery

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TO support their decarbonisation ambitions as part of Pembroke Net Zero Centre, RWE is progressing proposals to develop a battery energy storage system on its land adjacent to Pembroke Power Station. 

Battery energy storage plays a crucial role in the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, into the power grid, excess renewable energy can be stored and fed into the grid when needed. Electricity is consumed in real time and this technology will, where possible, enable homes and businesses to be powered by renewable energy.  

The consultation on RWE’s plans launches Monday 17 June 2024 and will end on Monday 15 July 2024. RWE is asking the community for their views on these plans and has launched a consultation where local people can provide feedback on the planning application. 

The proposed development would be located on a 5.1 hectare area to the south of the current power station and would comprise 212 Battery Containers, 106 Power Conversion Systems (PCS) enabling connectivity to the grid, and associated infrastructure. 

The battery would have a maximum charge / discharge power of 350 megawatts and would connect via underground cables to the grid at the adjacent National Grid 400 kV substation. Once fully operational, Pembroke Battery would be capable of storing enough electricity to meet the average daily domestic energy needs of more than 72,0001 typical UK homes. 

In line with RWE’s commitment to protect and enhance local environments, the company has pledged to deliver various biodiversity measures as part of the proposals. Field margins will be enhanced by species-rich meadow planting, native woodland and scrub planting, while a new large pond will be provided and managed to support local wildlife. The periphery of the development site will also be further enhanced with bat and bird boxes, insect hotels and reptile hibernation shelters around the field edges. A Habitat Management Plan will ensure the habitats created are managed sensitively in support of local wildlife for the lifetime of the project.

Commenting on the proposals, Richard Little, Pembroke Net Zero Centre Director, said: “RWE Pembroke Battery represents the next step in our plans to invest in new innovative energy technologies, as part of our vision for Pembroke Net Zero Centre. We would like to thank those who engaged with us in our Green Hydrogen consultation and encourage the community to get involved with the consultation process, learn more about our battery energy storage proposals, and have their say on the proposals.” 

Members of the community can contact the project team and leave feedback via the project website rwe.pembrokenetzerocentre.co.uk/battery, telephone 01646 370090, email [email protected] or by writing to ’Freepost PNZC Consultation’.  

Local people can also join RWE at an in-person event at South Pembrokeshire Golf Club on 24th June 2024 between 2pm and 7pm to speak with project team members, ask questions and provide feedback. 

Pembroke Net Zero Centre has a critical role to play in Wales’ and the UK’s pathway to Net Zero. By decarbonising its current operations at Pembroke Power Station, while investing in new innovative technologies, such as battery energy storage and hydrogen generation, RWE can establish Pembroke at the forefront of South Wales’ low carbon future.

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Charity

Megan’s Starr foundation launches Bottle Top Collection Appeal

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THE Megan’s Starr Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting young people’s mental health and combating bullying, has recently launched an innovative recycling initiative and is calling on the community for help. The Milford Haven-based foundation is asking for donations of old bottle tops, both metal and plastic, to be dropped off at the Megan’s Starr Community Coffee House in Milford Haven.

This appeal is part of the foundation’s ongoing efforts to support mental health and community engagement through creative and sustainable projects. Bottle tops collected will be used in various community art projects and workshops, aimed at fostering a sense of togetherness and promoting mental wellbeing.

The Megan’s Starr Foundation was established in memory of Megan Evans, a vibrant 14-year-old who tragically took her own life after enduring severe bullying. Her mother, Nicola Harteveld, founded the charity to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartbreak and to provide much-needed mental health support to young people in Pembrokeshire.

In addition to their recycling efforts, the foundation offers a wide range of services including counselling, educational workshops, and support groups. They also run the Speakeasy Coffee Van, a mobile unit that brings support directly to young people in rural areas, offering barista training and mental health resources.

To contribute to the bottle top collection, community members can drop off their donations at the coffee house or arrange for a volunteer to collect them. The foundation expressed their gratitude for the community’s continued support, emphasising that even small acts of kindness can have a significant impact.

For more information on how to get involved or to learn about the foundation’s other initiatives, visit their website at Megan’s Starr Foundation.

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