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Application for Cleddau Bridge Hotel to become care home approved

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THE FORMER Cleddau Bridge Hotel in Pembroke Dock will become a care home after an application was approved by the Planning Committee today (May 22).

The Cleddau Bridge Hotel closed in January and its staff were left without jobs and were not paid.

Since then the application to change it to a care home has come about and it has been the subject of much debate and a public meeting has also been held.

The ownership of the building has also been called into question with three different changes in the last couple of years.

Pembroke Dock Town Councillor George Manning had hoped to question the previous ownership of the building but was stopped twice as he was warned by the Chairman, Cllr David Howlett, that those issues were not planning matters.

Cllr Manning said: “When this came before Pembroke Dock Town Council we decided to put this open to the public and we had a public meeting about it.

“The consensus of opinion is that there is no great objection to the use of this building as a care home. But, what is most concerning, to not only the Town Council but to the general public is that this property and the management of it will still be in the ownership of the Kular family.

“Over the past five years, the hotel itself has changed hands within the Kular family at least three times.

“Although there is no strong reason for refusal on planning issues, I think there are strong reasons to ensure that whoever takes over that this applicant has the credibility to undertake and run a care home.

“I would urge, before you make a decision on this application, that it would not be unreasonable for this committee to seek further evidence of the ability for this company and Mr John Smith to run a care home, it is important to everybody.”

The agent for the application, Mr Richard Bowen said: “The application before you today has been thoroughly examined, resulting in a positive recommendation from your officers.

“The applicant is aware that there are some concerns and whilst the officers report has sought to address these matters, I take this opportunity to reinforce the fact that this application accords with the spirit of local and national planning policy.

“In terms of fit and proper people to run nursing home, you’ll be aware this will need a license from yourselves as the local licensing authority and that matter can be dealt with appropriately at that time.

“The former Cleddau Bridge hotel comprised a 54-bed hotel and despite its success in early years, following the closure of key clients, the occupancy rates fell and dropped significantly below a level which enabled a successful and viable operation to continue and therefore closed in January 2018 resulting in the regrettable loss of 40 jobs.

“Once it is operational, it will result in the creation of 40 full-time employees, allowing for shift patterns it could be a far higher number of people employed at the facility.”

Cllr Tony Wilcox said: “It is worrying for the people of Pembroke Dock that this hotel has changed hands frequently over the last couple of years and as soon as it wasn’t viable it was closed virtually overnight.

“What’s to stop that happening again if it’s not viable and closed overnight and you’ve got incredibly vulnerable people there literally homeless.”

Cllr Brian Hall said: “If we go down the lines of refusing this today, along the lines of the Town Council, as has already been mentioned, they are not viable planning reasons.

“I can understand the concern of the staff but you’ve got to be realistic, we’ve been told by the agent they are going to employ 40, 50, 60 people, there is a distinct possibility that some of them will apply for another job and they would be delighted to get another job, albeit it’s a different use.”

Cllr Hall then moved the application for approval and that was seconded by Cllr Peter Morgan.

Cllr David Pugh added he would rather see a building in use rather than be empty and deteriorating and also indicated his support.

The application was approved by a majority with Cllr Tony Wilcox abstaining from the vote.

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Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

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Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

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Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

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MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions.

To allow for social distancing on site, both Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village have been operating a pre-booking system since last summer.

Those wishing to visit should book their tickets online before arriving at the site. This applies to Annual Pass holders and others who qualify for free entry, such as wheelchair users and accompanying carers.

Carew Castle is open to pre-booked visitors between 10am and 4pm (Tidal Mill 11.30am – 5pm), while those wishing to visit Castell Henllys will be asked to book either a morning slot (10am-1pm) or an afternoon slot (2pm-5pm) before visiting the site.

Daisy Hughes, Visitor Services Manager at Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have made some changes to the site and how we operate to ensure that we keep you, our staff and our local community safe.

“All areas of the Castle and Tidal Mill are open, including the Walled Garden and play area. Nest Tearoom, which has plenty of outdoor undercover seating, will be serving light lunches and homemade cakes along with hot and cold drinks throughout the day, and the Castle and Mill Shops remain open – although face coverings must be worn and only card/contactless payments are currently being accepted.

“With the exception of Nest Tearoom, pre-booking is essential, though, and we’re asking all visitors to make sure they book their entry tickets in advance, in order to avoid any delays or disappointment when they arrive on site.”

Entry tickets for both Carew Castle and Castell Henllys can be purchased by visiting www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events

A dynamic programme of events suitable for all the family will be running at both sites throughout the summer months. Visit the above website for more information and to book tickets.

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Salvage Hunters: New series is filming in Pembrokeshire, and they need help

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SALVAGE HUNTERS, the well-loved and most watched Quest TV and Discovery Network show, is on the hunt for locations to film at in the Pembrokeshire and the wider South West Wales area to feature in the upcoming series.

We follow decorative antiques expert Drew Pritchard as he travels around various locations in the UK and abroad on his quest to find and buy unusual objects with an interesting history.

Drew really visits everywhere – beautiful estates, old family businesses, barns and attic’s stuffed full of unwanted things, museums, factories, collectors and iconic religious sites buying all sorts along the way – from gorgeous country house furniture and railwayana to 6ft 1980s disco balls and anything in-between.

Now in its sixteenth series and airing to over half a million people in the UK and millions more worldwide, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business or home to a broad audience, sell a few items that perhaps you no longer need, make some money and celebrate the history and heritage of the UK.

If you think you fit the bill or know somebody that might then please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with a member of our team.

Call us on 0203 179 0092 or alternatively send us an email to – salvagehunters@curvemedia.com

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