Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Community

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

Published

on

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

Community

Redstone Bridge opens as part of A40 improvements scheme

Published

on

TRAFFIC is now flowing across a key element of the A40 improvements scheme following the grand opening of Redstone Bridge, north of Narberth. This milestone was celebrated on Friday, May 17, with a ceremony that highlighted the involvement and spirit of the local community.

The honour of declaring the bridge open was bestowed upon pupils of Narberth CP School, symbolising the younger generation of the community. Accompanied by their headteacher, Mrs Moore, and assistant headteacher, Mr Noble, the pupils were joined by residents and staff of Blaenmarlais Care Home in Redstone Road.

The A40 project, extending from Llanddewi Velfrey to west of Redstone Cross, is being delivered by Alun Griffiths Contractors Ltd for the Welsh Government. The opening ceremony featured a short speech from Project Manager David Noblett, who expressed gratitude to the pupils, residents, and the workforce from Griffiths and Trueform Civils Limited. The crowd applauded as the pupils cut the ribbon, officially opening the bridge and walking across it for the very first time.

A spokesperson for Griffiths commented, “Griffiths would like to thank residents, businesses, and the community for their co-operation during the closure, which allowed the final phase of bridge construction to be completed on time. A particular thank you to the residents of Northfield Road who experienced parking restrictions throughout this period. They were admirably supported in the parking of their vehicles by Janine Perkins from Bloomfield Community Centre, and Narberth Health Centre, which allowed a family with a baby to use their car park during the closure period.”

The Narberth children were specially chosen to do the honours, representing the future of the community and underscoring the project’s significance for upcoming generations.

The completion of Redstone Bridge marks a significant step in the A40 improvements scheme, promising enhanced connectivity and infrastructure for the region. The community’s involvement in the ceremony highlights the collaborative effort behind this essential project, reflecting a shared commitment to progress and development in Pembrokeshire.

Continue Reading

Community

Tenby to mark D-Day 80 with Beacon Lighting Ceremony

Published

on

PLANS are well underway for Tenby to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings with a special beacon lighting ceremony on Castle Hill. This significant event will honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who took part in Operation Overlord, the largest naval, air, and land operation in history.

His Majesty, The King, has requested that instead of lighting beacons for his coronation last year, they be lit on June 6 to commemorate the anniversary of this pivotal World War Two operation. The Normandy landings in 1944 opened Europe’s Second Front, which ultimately led to the downfall of Hitler’s Nazi regime 11 months later.

The commemoration will begin with a procession led by the Mayor of Tenby, Cllr. Dai Morgan. Accompanied by fellow councillors, representatives of the Tenby Royal British Legion, and local cadet units, the procession will leave Castle Square at Tenby Harbour at approximately 8:50 pm on Thursday, June 6. The procession will then make its way up to Castle Hill.

Upon reaching Castle Hill, the International D-Day Tribute will be read, after which Cllr. Morgan will light Tenby’s beacon at 9:15 pm. This beacon will form part of a UK-wide chain of beacons and Lamp Lights of Peace, symbolising unity and remembrance across the nation. All members of the public are welcome to join in this solemn and significant commemoration.

Earlier in the day, at 11 am, the Mayor will lay a wreath at Tenby’s war memorial. This act of remembrance will honour all those who gave their lives during the D-Day landings, ensuring their sacrifices are not forgotten.

This special beacon lighting ceremony and the wreath-laying are poignant reminders of the courage and determination of the Allied forces. The events planned in Tenby offer an opportunity for the community to come together to reflect on the historic significance of D-Day and to pay tribute to the heroes of Operation Overlord.

Tenby’s commemoration is part of a larger national effort to mark this historic anniversary, ensuring that the legacy of those who fought and died continues to be honoured and remembered for generations to come.

Continue Reading

Community

First electric mobile post office tested in Pembrokeshire

Published

on

THE FIRST full-electric Post Office vehicle has been successfully trialled in the UK, and it has all happened in Pembrokeshire.

The pioneering effort is being led by Pembroke Postmaster, Mark Wilson, who, along with his team, has been serving 11 rural communities in Pembrokeshire with a new electric Mobile Post Office.

Replacing the traditional diesel vehicle, this new electric model has demonstrated its capability over the past several weeks, navigating the hilly terrain of the region without issue. The environmentally friendly vehicle can travel over 100 miles on a single charge, comfortably exceeding the longest 60-mile route covered by the Pembroke Mobile Post Office. This ample range alleviates any concerns about “range anxiety” and eliminates the need for mid-route recharging, as the vehicle is conveniently charged overnight.

Mark Wilson highlighted the positive reception from the community, stating, “Our electric Mobile Post Office is turning heads with its distinctive signage. People are used to the typical Post Office red vehicles, but the design on this vehicle emphasises its environmental benefits. It’s exciting to have the first of these in the UK. Customers have praised our new vehicle for being less polluting and visually appealing.”

The new electric vehicle maintains the same height as its predecessor but offers a slightly wider build, which has proven manageable on country lanes. Its interior design provides better layout and increased space, allowing for more retail offerings and greater storage capacity for parcels, accommodating the rising trend of home shopping returns and online sales.

Wilson added, “Colleagues working on the Mobile are pleased with its road handling and the smoother driving experience thanks to the automatic transmission.”

The Mobile Post Office has long been a vital service for maintaining Post Office access in smaller, rural communities. It offers a full range of Post Office services, including mail, pre-ordered foreign currencies, banking for all major high street banks, bill payments, and vehicle tax.

The 11 communities currently served by the electric Mobile Post Office include:

  1. Cosheston
  2. Milton
  3. Carew
  4. St Florence
  5. Broadmoor
  6. Lawrenny
  7. Angle
  8. Herbrandston
  9. St Ishmaels
  10. Marloes
  11. Dale.

Nigel Parry, owner of the Post Office National Outreach Model, which includes Mobile Post Offices, underscored the environmental and economic benefits of these electric vehicles. “We know the green credentials of these vehicles; they are better for the environment as there are no emissions polluting communities. These vehicles are also cheaper to run and maintain.”

Parry emphasised the importance of real-world testing to ensure the vehicles’ fitness for purpose. “We want to see how they perform in real-life conditions. Hilly terrain, cold weather, traffic jams, and the age and condition of the battery all affect the vehicle’s range, so it’s crucial to ensure there is spare capacity to serve outlying communities throughout the year.”

An additional advantage of electric vehicles is their quicker maintenance turnaround, reducing downtime compared to the biannual servicing required for diesel vehicles.

Following this successful trial in Pembrokeshire, another electric Mobile Post Office will be introduced in East Anglia next month, with a third location yet to be determined. This rollout aims to further test the suitability and cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles for rural locations. Currently, there are 67 diesel Mobile Post Offices operating across Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

This move marks a significant milestone in the Post Office’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, ensuring that even the most remote communities can benefit from modern, eco-friendly services.

Continue Reading

News3 hours ago

Brawdy space radars campaign launched over safety fears

A CAMPAIGN group, fighting against proposals to for a deep space radar dish array in north Pembrokeshire has been launched,...

News4 hours ago

First Minister Vaughan Gething faces potential vote of no confidence

WALES’ First Minister Vaughan Gething is poised to confront a vote of no confidence when the Senedd reconvenes next week....

Entertainment14 hours ago

Lucy and Stu’s love story mirrors that of TV’s Gavin and Stacey

A COUPLE affectionately known by their family and friends as ‘the real Gavin and Stacey’ are hoping for a special...

Community15 hours ago

First electric mobile post office tested in Pembrokeshire

THE FIRST full-electric Post Office vehicle has been successfully trialled in the UK, and it has all happened in Pembrokeshire....

News2 days ago

Ambulance terror response fears in Wales over hospital delays

Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter AMBULANCE chiefs in Wales say they may not be able to respond properly to terror...

Community2 days ago

A further two Pembrokeshire day care centres may close if petitions fail

TWO PETITIONS, calling on Pembrokeshire County Council to keep day care centres in the county open have been launched, with...

News3 days ago

Casualty pulled from water after yacht destroyed by fire off Tenby

A MULTI-AGENCY response was launched after a yacht caught fire on Saturday night (May 25) off Tenby. HM Coastguard coordinated...

Charity5 days ago

Royal celebration at Buckingham Palace marks RNLI’s 200th anniversary

HIS MAJESTY The King has graciously hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace today to commemorate the 200th anniversary of...

Community5 days ago

The Big Beer Festival returns to Milford Waterfront

MILFORD HAVEN is set to host the highly anticipated Big Beer Festival tomorrow at Milford Waterfront. Beginning at 12:00 PM...

News6 days ago

General Election 2024: What the west Wales candidates say

CANDIDATES for July 4’s General Election have responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement. After constituency boundaries were redrawn, Pembrokeshire was divided...

Popular This Week