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Goodwick: Planning Committee approves homes for over 55s

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AN application for 26 homes to be built on land at Goodwick Industrial Estate has been approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee.

The homes have been designated for over 55s and there will also be a requirement for the homes to be used as a primary residence.

24 of the 26 homes would be two bedroom homes with the other two being one bedroom homes while 14 of the 26 would have a ramp.

The developers have also been asked to make a contribution to affordable housing and a legal agreement will also need to be finalised.

The homes would also be partially built on land which had previously been designated as ’employment use’ but the committee heard how there had been previous approval for homes to be built on that land in 2006.

At the Committee meeting on Tuesday (Jul 26), Cllr John Cole was concerned about the homes being used as holiday homes but he was told that there was a condition which said the houses should be a primary residence.

The local member, Cllr Nicola Gwynn, said she was ‘conflicted’, stating that houses were needed but that she had ‘reservations’ about the park homes.

She said: “I’ve heard what the presentation has said about it not being out of character for the area because the site looks a mess anyway but I don’t think the park home mock-up that was shown was particularly inspiring, it looks a bit like a caravan park.”

Cllr Mark Carter asked about the affordable home contribution, stating that as the homes would be relatively low value, would they not be classed as affordable homes.

Mr David Popplewell told the committee that they were not of the view that these would constitute affordable homes as although they were not the same value they would still be market properties.

Cllr Carter then moved the application for approval and Cllr Brian Hall seconded.

Cllr Alistair Cameron was concerned that they would be losing some employment land and asked if that was considered as a risk?

Mr Popplewell added that there was an approval in 2006 for a residential development. At that time the old Dewhirst factory was still on site but developers chose to demolish it.

He also added that there was another parcel of land allocated for employment use which would be available.

Cllr Aaron Carey asked if the park homes could potentially affect plans for a factory being built on the employment land in future, adding that some residents wouldn’t want a factory being built next to them

Mr Popplewell said that the site was already in close proximity to Goodwick Industrial Estate and added that there wouldn’t be any additional adverse impact.

Having listened to the debate, Cllr Gwynn voted for approval and the application was approved unanimously.

Delegated authority was also given for the application to be approved once the legal agreement is finalised.

Crime

Teenagers fled from Pembroke RFC after setting spectators stand on fire

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ON MONDAY (may 16) between the hours of 16:25 and 17:00, the spectators stand of Pembroke Rugby Football Club was deliberately set on fire, police have said.

Two males, aged between 17-19, fled from the club grounds immediately after the smoke plumes were noticed.

Both males were on dark framed push bikes and wearing dark coloured hooded jumpers.

Officers are asking if anyone who has any information or has witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in the area around these times, is asked to contact police either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 24000446140

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Cheesy names for Folly Farm’s five Humboldt Penguin Chicks

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FOLLY FARM has announced the arrival of five new baby Humboldt penguin chicks—the first penguin chicks to hatch at the zoo since 2021!

Keepers have resumed breeding Humboldt penguins as part of a managed European Breeding Programme for the species, facilitated by their membership with the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). These chicks are the first to arrive at the zoo in three years!

Humboldt penguins are classified as a vulnerable species, facing numerous threats in the wild. Breeding had been on hold at Folly Farm, and the keepers are thrilled to be able to breed again.

The delightful new penguin chicks are growing rapidly and are snug in their nest boxes, cared for by both parents who alternate feeding duties while the other enjoys a swim in the pool. Chicks can double or even triple in weight every couple of days! In a few weeks, they will leave their nests and be taken by experienced keepers to their Penguin Nursery facility, where they will spend a few weeks learning to feed on whole fish and swim in their small ‘baby pool’, before graduating to the main pool with the rest of the colony.

The naming theme for this season is cheese, with the chicks being named Mozzarella, Camembert, Cheddar, Halloumi, and Gorgonzola. Who doesn’t love cheese?

Penguin Keeper and Assistant Zoo Manager Caz Davies shared her excitement: “We’re so excited to have chicks again. Each breeding season, keepers choose a catchy naming theme to easily identify the birds. Penguin chicks can’t be sexed until they’re a bit older and feather samples can be taken, so we’ll just have to wait for a gender reveal for now!”

‘Mozzarella’ was the first to hatch on 30 March to parents, ‘Magnum’ and ‘Feast’, followed by ‘Camembert’ on 2 April, whose parents are ‘Perci’ and ‘Puffy’. ‘Cheddar’ arrived soon after on 5 May to ‘Whippy’ and ‘Pippy’, and ‘Halloumi’ hatched on 10 May to first-time parents ‘Einstein’ and ‘Darwin’. ‘Gorgonzola’ is the youngest chick and hatched on 14 May to ‘Popple’ and ‘Pudding’.

Penguin Coast is currently home to 22 Humboldt and 14 Macaroni penguins. Guests won’t be able to see the newest arrivals quite yet—but keep watching Folly Farm’s website and social platforms for updates!

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Anticipation builds for more Northern Lights as solar activity peaks

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IN the wake of a mesmerising display of the aurora borealis last weekend, experts predict further celestial spectacles are imminent due to heightened solar activity. A substantial sunspot cluster, responsible for recent intense solar flares, is expected to face Earth again in approximately two weeks, potentially sparking more geomagnetic storms and Northern Lights displays.

Scientists at the Met Office, including space weather forecaster Krista Hammond, report that this activity is part of the approaching solar maximum, a peak phase in the Sun’s 11-year cycle marked by increased magnetic upheavals and sunspot production. This cycle, the 25th since systematic observations began in 1755, is proving more vigorous than anticipated.

Last Saturday’s geomagnetic storm, categorised as a G5—the highest alert level by both the Met Office and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—was the most severe since 2003. Triggered by multiple coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the storm disrupted high-frequency radio communications globally and posed challenges to various satellite operations.

The aftermath of the storm highlighted our vulnerability to space weather. SpaceX’s Starlink satellites experienced significant strain, leading to voltage spikes, as reported by the European Space Agency (ESA). The added radiation also disturbed GPS signals, impacting everything from aviation—necessitating the reroute of a transatlantic flight—to precision farming, with reported disruptions in GPS-dependent agricultural machinery.

On Earth, the heightened electrical currents tested power grid robustness worldwide. In New Zealand, some circuits were temporarily shut down as a precaution, while the UK’s electricity network operators implemented measures like extra back-up generation to manage potential voltage fluctuations.

This heightened solar activity brings not only stunning natural displays but also underscores the critical importance of preparedness for space weather impacts. The UK government ranks extreme space weather as a significant threat on its national risk register, citing potential severe consequences such as widespread power outages and infrastructure damage.

According to Sean Elvidge, a professor in space environment at the University of Birmingham, the recent storm serves as a reminder of the potentially devastating effects of more powerful storms, like the historical Carrington Event of 1859, which disrupted telegraph systems and caused widespread fires.

As the Sun continues its active phase, the role of advanced forecasting and international cooperation in mitigating space weather effects becomes increasingly crucial. Agencies like NOAA and the Met Office are enhancing their monitoring capabilities, ensuring that critical infrastructure and governments worldwide are forewarned of impending solar storms, thus safeguarding both modern technology and the daily lives dependent on it.

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