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New Sainsbury’s and housing estate get the go ahead

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720 new houses to include 180 ‘affordable homes’

New £30m Haverfordwest supermarket promises 310 jobs

Plans include petrol station, sewage plant and roundabout

Council admits ‘slightly negative’ effect on the town centre

 

 

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council’s planning committee gave the provisional go ahead for a major development of over seven hundred houses, and full planning permission for Sainsbury’s to build a £30m flag ship store and petrol station on green field on Tuesday.  The site, to the north of Thomas Parry Way in Haverfordwest, has been earmarked for development for nearly ten years.

The multi million pound scheme promises bring 310 permanent and part time retail jobs to Haverfordwest as well as creating further employment over the lengthy construction phase of the project.

In the face of objections form the Haverfordwest Civic Society, two local councillors and some nearby residents, Cllr Brian Hall told a packed committee room: “What message does a refusal to this application send to a major developer. This is a massive injection of cash. Haverfordwest is supposed to be the county town, but it has now slipped.”

Joking that Pembroke Dock had now taken over as the new shopping destination of Pembrokeshire Cllr Hall said: “This development will bring a massive amount of jobs and by building these projects is how we get out of economic recession.”

“This project will lead to a massive increase in footfall to Haverfordwest. At the moment, people are encouraged to travel east to Carmarthen” he added.

“I have the great pleasure in moving this application for approval” Cllr. Hall concluded.

Committee member Cllr Peter Stock said: “I have looked at this very carefully and although we need to look after the existing residents we have to consider that there are not enough plots in Haverfordwest. We as a Council, recognise the need for building.”

He continued: “My great love is for both Pembrokeshire and Haverfordwest, and I would die for those two places. What we are trying to do is improve the centre of our town, and here’s an opportunity to work with a major developer. We are loosing out to Carmarthen at the moment.”

Cllr Stock said: “Car parking in Haverfordwest is also a concern. In summer months every car park is chock-a-block. This new development adds free three hour car parking spaces within walking distance of the town centre. Haverfordwest Chamber of Trade supports this development. They know this development will draw people into the town centre. For too many years we have let our river go. We need plans to strengthen it. We can take this as a chance to put things right. No one complains about Tesco! Sainsbury’s will not have so many houses next to it as Tesco.”

He finished: “I have got to support this, but I will be careful to safeguard the residents.”

Councillors Lyndon Frayling, IPPG, and Thomas Tudor, Labour, were given permission address the Planning Committee because their wards were in or near the development site. They said the project would not be in the interests of the residents of Oakwood Grove, Sycamore Grove and Slade lane areas. Cllr Frayling said: “The location of this development is detrimental to nearby houses, there will be a high level of traffic, noise pollution and light pollution from the supermarket. There are also concerns that a roundabout will cause long delays encouraging people to drive back onto City Road rather than use Thomas Parry Way, which was designed as a relief road. I advise refusal for those reasons.”

Cllr. Tudor spoke of “the serious detrimental effects” of the development on its neighbours and highlighted evidence from New Scientist about a study in France where researchers found that “Children living next door to a petrol station had a quadrupled risk of leukaemia. And the risk of developing acute non-lymphoblastic leukaemia was seven times greater compared with children who lived in the same area, but not next to a petrol station.”

Councillor Tom Tudor read a letter of objection he had sent to the planning department which we have reprinted in full in the letters pages of this edition.

Cllr. Sue Perkins countered these arguments by saying: “I have a Tesco in my ward but no problems with lighting or noise pollution. It will be fine.”

David Jones, agent for Conygar, the company developing the site told the committee: “I commend the council’s officers for a report on this development which is coherent and well balanced. It includes a number of robust submissions. Financial realities have meant that there has been little progress with this site in seven years. Sainsbury’s now makes this all possible. The new store will cross-subsidises the wider development. This project includes 180 affordable homes, a new sewerage treatment works, a £30m investment by Sainbury’s and a further investment of £5m-£6m in additional infrastructure for the town. This development will bring further choice, reduced prices for consumers and help prevent the leakage of business to other counties through this truly sustainable development. Sainsbury’s in the UK’s greenest grocer. They stock over 3,000 locally sourced products and are the biggest buyer of Welsh lamb.”

Richard Evans, retired, who lives at one of the houses nearest to where the supermarket will be built raised objections. “I think the greater majority of people think that supply already outweighs demand where supermarkets are concerned. I have read the Council report. It states ‘there is no retail need for a large store at Slade Lane South’.

Mr Evans also questioned if there was a need for new houses in the area: “Cawdor barracks will be closing soon putting the whole of the Cashfields Estate onto the housing market” he said.

“In the documentation we can see that all sorts of environmental considerations have been made for badgers, foxes and other wildlife, but not much consideration for the residents who will be blighted by this totally unnecessary development plan. This is another nail in the coffin for our town. The Haverfordwest Civic Society discussed this on March 6, and concluded that there is no need for this development and recommended refusal.

Cllr Pugh said at the meeting: “The deliverability of hosuing is important. The proposal will deliver housing at a time when there are currently 4068 people on the housing waiting list in Pembrokeshire. We live in a county where housing is desperately needed. In regards to the retail, I have had meetings with the Chamber of Trade and Town Council . The Chamber of Trade see this as a key development for the centre.”

“This is a huge investment showing confidence in Haverfordwest. I have no hesitation in supporting this” he added.

Cllr Keith Lewis added his view: “I find myself at the end of such eloquence its left me with little to say. Let’s make it clear to the developer that we welcome this project. Cllr Frayling make good paints on behalf of the residents but the planning department will take into consideration the points that he raised. Additional car parking on the town side would be a good idea, to help people get to the units in the town centre. That will secure Haverfordwest town centre for years.”

He concluded with a demand to his fellow Councillors: “Lets grasp this with two hands and say YES! We’ll go ahead with it!”

On a vote, the application for the homes and supermarket were passes unanimously with one member, Cllr. Price, obtaining because of a financial interest.

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements

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PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

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POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Health

Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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