Connect with us


Gelliswick Bay community transfer gets thumbs-up



THE transfer of a Pembrokeshire’s waterside sites to a community group was backed by senior councillors last week.

The former Gelliswick Bay caravan park has lain dormant for many years but now locals are eager to see it re-instated as an important asset in the Hubberston and Hakin communities.

Gelliswick Bay Development Society hopes to develop the former Gelliswick caravan park to a quality holiday park comprising log cabins, shepherd huts, glamping and camping facilities and a site for touring caravans.

The phased project will extend to the introduction of woodland walks, sports areas, coffee shop facilities, and workshops, as well as a resource centre for local organisations, associations, and schools.

There will also be a dedicated green space for the communities’ wellbeing, with eco-therapy courses and opportunities for rural crafts.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, at their September meeting, were asked to approve a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) disposal for the land at Gelliswick Bay.

A report for members stated: “The land at Gelliswick Bay was identified as a potential CAT and Expressions of Interest (EOI) were invited. Two detailed EOIs were submitted and, following review by Cabinet at their meeting of November 7, 2022, it was agreed to invite Gelliswick Bay Development Society to proceed to the next stage of the process.

“Cabinet was updated on July 3 that due diligence checks were ongoing to establish that any permitted levels of subsidy control would not breached. Some questions had also arisen as to whether or not the proposal fitted the criteria of a CAT, and that further information was required.  

“Relevant checks have now been concluded and a recommendation can now be made for the consideration by Cabinet.”

Moving approval, Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change Cllr Paul Miller said: “We considered this at Cabinet previously, I’ve always been a supporter of this proposal, both in what they are doing and in principle.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Hubberston and Hakin to create something that is sustainable for their communities.”

Member unanimously agreed that authority be delegated to the assistant chief executive to conclude on a long-lease, “with appropriate and suitable measures in place for the protection of the asset, the council’s interest and the delivery of the business plan”.

Continue Reading


RAF St Davids airfield honours the past with 80th anniversary celebration



IT WAS a scene reminiscent of yesteryears at the RAF St Davids Airfield this past Friday, 15th September. The echoes of wartime reverberated around the venue as a fitting tribute was unveiled on the 80th anniversary of the airfield’s establishment.

The poignant ceremony culminated with a nostalgic flypast by an Avro Anson, a wartime-era aircraft, honouring the memory of those who tragically lost their lives serving at the airfield. In addition, the event was an ode to all military and civilian personnel who rendered their services during both war and peaceful times.

Masterminded by Malcolm Gray – the artisan behind the three slate plaques that now form the memorial – along with stalwarts Ian Panton and John James, the ceremony drew inspiration from an initiative set forth by the late Alun James of Carnhedryn, a fervent local historian.

The memorial, ingeniously crafted using a section of a wall from a wartime edifice, was gracefully unveiled by Councillor Emma Evans, the Mayor of St Davids, with Councillor Bira Sehmi, the Deputy Mayor, by her side.

Adding to the occasion’s gravitas was the Chief guest, Air Commodore Adrian Williams, the RAF’s Air Officer Wales, who honoured the memory of the fallen by laying a wreath at the memorial. The ceremony was further sanctified by the Rev William Owen of Caerfachell. Morgan Price’s rendition of The Last Post and Reveille, along with the standards paraded by the Royal British Legion’s Solva and St Davids branches and the Air Cadets of the 948 (Haverfordwest and City of St David’s) Squadron, added to the solemnity of the occasion.

John Evans of the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group took attendees on a journey through the airfield’s illustrious 50-year active history, starting in 1943. The commemoration saw many with a familial bond to RAF St Davids, including Mr Bryan John of Solva, whose affiliation with the RAF led him to work with the Airwork company based in St Davids and later at Brawdy.

From Cawdor Barracks, Captain Shane Murphy and Warrant Officer (RAF) Greg Moodie were also in attendance.

Following the formal proceedings, guests reconvened at the St Davids RAFA Club, where they were greeted by Chairman Malcolm Clift, indulging in some well-deserved refreshments. Notably, the RAF Ensign proudly flew over Cross Square, St Davids that day.

The day’s ceremonies saw the twin-engined Anson, piloted by owner Glenn James from Shropshire, using the Haverfordwest Airport as its base. A later rendezvous took place between Air Commodore Williams and the Anson crew at Withybush.

Continue Reading


Fire-ravaged Haverfordwest Dunlop Motors gets demolition go-ahead



PEMBROKESHIRE planners have approved the demolition of fire-ravaged garage buildings in Haverfordwest’s conservation area, which saw crews from as far afield as Ammanford tackling the blaze.

The fire broke out around 7.18am on Saturday, April 22 on Dew Street, Haverfordwest. It took place at a single-storey commercial car engineering garage.

Crews from Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Narberth, Fishguard, Tenby, Carmarthen and Ammanford were called to the scene, and Dyfed-Powys Police were in attendance.

Chris Dungey has sought permission for the demolition of fire-damaged Dunlop Motors commercial garage buildings in the town’s Dew Street, including an associated site clearance and decontamination, along with a subsequent restoration and remediation of the site.

Agent Pembroke Design Limited in its supporting statement said the damage was extensive; the intense heat of the fire broke down the buildings’ asbestos cladding, most of which has fallen to the ground.

“It is also likely that the fire has compromised the structural frames of the building, although this cannot be fully assessed at this time, due to access restrictions prior to decontamination of the site,” the statement said, adding: “Due to the extent of damage, the buildings are beyond economic repair and must be demolished. It is therefore proposed to demolish the buildings and clear the site.

“The floors of the building and the surrounding external area are contaminated, both by particles of ACMs and also petrochemicals and other hazardous substances due to the use of the building as a commercial garage and workshop (full extent of contamination to be confirmed when safe access is available to the site).

“It is proposed to remove existing concrete slabs and contaminated ground surfaces down to a suitable level and backfill with inert compacted hardcore/gravel to provide a clean and permeable surface, until any future redevelopment (subject to the necessary separate consents) is undertaken.   Existing vegetation to boundary walls will be cleared to provide a neat and tidy appearance.”

The report said the historic fabric of the site was lost when the original car dealership building was constructed in the second half of 20th century; the workshop buildings to be demolished are presumed to have been constructed at a slightly later date, being added to in a piecemeal fashion over the years.

“The fire damaged buildings do not contribute positively to the Conservation Area or relate well to the surrounding historical fabric or listed buildings. Their demolition, whilst being necessary from and health & safety and public welfare perspective, will allow for a replacement to be constructed in a more sympathetic style, to better relate to the context of the Conservation Area, subject to approval of a separate, future planning application.”

The application was conditionally approved earlier this month.

Continue Reading


Pembrokeshire’s Apple Camping had ‘disco chapel’ without permission



A Pembrokeshire ‘glamping’ site – nationally famed as a place you can stay in a jet plane, UFO, speedboat, or submarine – put attractions on site without planning permission, even turning a storage area into a ‘disco chapel’.

At the September meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, members considered a retrospective application by Toby Rhys-Davies to change the layout and the number of holiday units at Apple Camping, Redberth, near Tenby.

A report for members, recommending conditional approval, stated: “The application has been made to regularise unauthorised development that has taken place at the Apple Camping site and to secure approval for details relating to an approved ‘buffer zone’ that were the subject of conditions on previous planning permissions relating to the site.”

A report for members said ‘regularisation’ was sought in the northern field for: two ‘Pac Man’ units, one train carriage unit, one fuselage unit, one witch’s hat unit and one ‘hobbit house’ unit, together with the retention of as-built facilities.

The southern field sought to regularise the provision of the speedboat and submarine units; together with the retention of three WC / shower / kitchen ‘blocks’, as-built foul drainage arrangements, as built external lighting arrangements and approval of landscaping details as implemented.

Approval was also sought for landscaping details associated with a ‘buffer zone’ that is proposed at the site’s boundary with an adjacent watercourse.

The report added: “It is clear that the principle of the use of both fields for holiday accommodation purposes has been allowed by reason of decisions made by the council as local planning authority (LPA) and through the appeal process.

“Officers conclude that subject to the detail of individual aspects of the application now under consideration, the principle of continued use of the land for holiday accommodation is acceptable.”

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries said the “quirky tourism” venue first started a decade ago, and had grown into a “big, big success,” which has featured heavily on terrestrial TV channels and the national press.

“It’s been proving a winner, lots of visitors and lots of telly.

“However, it appears Mr Rhys-Davies got a bit carried away with his success, bringing in these different schemes without planning permission,” suggesting he, perhaps, “hasn’t ticked the right boxes”.

“Sadly, for Pembrokeshire he’s thinking of sticking it on the market,” said Mr Vaughan-Harries, before alluding to another project Mr Rhys-Davies had “in waiting”.

“If you’re going to have to sell your tourism development you’ve got to put everything in order; the ‘chapel’ building – I think the evidence is there it has been used both as a storage and as a function building – that will have to stop until the right consents are in place.

One of the objectors was local community council Jeffreyston, which raised many concerns, saying Apple Camping “has completely disregarded correct planning procedures over a considerable period”.

Among the many concerns raised were: “Apple camping has an entertainment complex site referred to as the ‘disco chapel’. This is being advertised as rented out for parties or general parties on the site.”

It raised concerns about noise pollution, the health and safety of these parties, and the impact on the wildlife in the area.

It also raised concerns about drainage from the site directly onto the highway and visual impact.

Local member Vanessa Thomas raised the council’s concerns, asking – amongst other points – that the ‘disco chapel’ reverted to storage only.

Councillor Mark Carter moved the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Jamie Adams, who said it was an “opportunity to regularise” activities on site.

Members unanimously backed the recommendation.

Continue Reading

News1 day ago

Pembrokeshire restaurant fined for employing illegal workers

A PEMBROKESHIRE-BASED restaurant, Panache Indian, located on Queen Street, Pembroke Dock, has been slapped with a hefty fine after being...

News1 day ago

Council to stop supplying grey bin bags to save money

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has confirmed it is ceasing provision of grey bags and reverting to “household provided” black bags for...

News2 days ago

Online safety bill passage marks new dawn for child safety, says NSPCC Chief

THE NATIONAL SOCIETY for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) hails the enactment of the Online Safety Bill as...

News2 days ago

Petition calling for scrapping of new 20mph speed limit at 150,000 signatures

A SENEDD petition calling for the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the 20mph law, has now passed 150,000 signatures,...

News4 days ago

Wales’ 20mph speed limit now in force amid much controversy

FROM Today (Sunday, Sept 17), the vast majority of residential roads across Wales will see a new speed limit of...

featured6 days ago

Wales to reduce speed limit to 20mph in built-up areas from Sunday

WALES will introduce a new default speed limit of 20mph (32km/h) for residential roads from Sunday, making it the first...

News6 days ago

Police investigation into theft of garden ornaments in Solva

POLICE are investigating an allegation of theft at a property in the Whitchurch area of Solva, Pembrokeshire. Two garden ornaments...

News1 week ago

Pembroke refinery construction workers ballot for strike over pay

AROUND 200 engineering construction workers at the Pembroke oil refinery are being balloted for strike action over pay, Unite, the...

Health1 week ago

Welsh Government intervenes in all Welsh health boards

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT raised the escalation level of all seven Welsh health boards on Wednesday, September 13, amid concerns about...

News1 week ago

CCTV image released after woman sexually assaulted – Carmarthen

OFFICERS investigating a sexual assault at Carmarthen Railway Station are releasing a CCTV image in connection. Just before 2.50pm on...

Popular This Week