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Pembrokeshire village’s seaside houses scheme approved

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NATIONAL park planners narrowly backed a scheme to build two large houses at a Pembrokeshire seaside village site, despite the objections of the local community council.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners, meeting in January, were recommended to approve the scheme, submitted by an unnamed applicant through Bristol-based agent Pegasus Planning Group Ltd, for two four-bedroom detached dwellings at “a particularly large plot” at Mountain Ash Cottage, Sandy Hill Road, Saundersfoot.

At that meeting, members instead agreed to a site visit, held in mid February, with two new recommended conditions relating to the submission of a Construction Management Plan and removal of permitted development rights added to the application before the March planning meeting.

The scheme, which includes an affordable housing contribution of £140,360, was again recommended for approval.

The application had been reported to the Development Management Committee at committee chair Dr Madeleine Havard’s request, as Saundersfoot Community Council objected to the application, contrary to an officer recommendation for approval.

The site currently has planning permission for two new dwellings, with the demolition of a single property, which expires in November; the new scheme proposing to retain that property, adding two additional dwellings.

Saundersfoot Community Council objected to the plans, saying the scheme is potentially overpowering to neighbouring properties, and would cause major over-development of the area.

Objector, and neighbour, Andrew Milne – who spoke at both the January and March meetings – raised concerns about the designs and scale of the new proposal and visual impact it would have on his property, describing the original ‘fall-back’ scheme – which he didn’t object to – as “more sensitive”.

Chris Cox, on behalf of the applicants, said the scheme would offer a significantly higher affordable housing contribution over the “fall-back’ position, up from £38,000, adding that the applicant had responded positively with amended plans after previous concerns raised.

A report for committee members said: “The proposed development is considered acceptable in terms of the principle of the proposed new dwellings and will not have a detrimental impact on the character of the surrounding area or the residential amenity of any neighbouring properties in accordance with the policies of the Local Development Plan.”

At the meeting many members raised concerns they were “struggling” with the scheme, due to its location and size.

The application was passed by eight votes to six, with one abstention.

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Social housing plans for Cleddau Bridge Hotel site backed

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A SCHEME to build 38 affordable and social housing units on the site of a fire-ravaged former Pembrokeshire hotel has been backed by senior Pembrokeshire councillors.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on April 22, supported a contract with developer Castell Group Ltd for the mix of affordable homes and social housing units at the Cleddau Bridge Hotel site, Pembroke Dock.

Members, in a report presented by Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery Cllr Jon Harvey, heard Castell had approached the council’s housing service to determine whether there is an interest in working with them to bring forward the development as a social/affordable housing site.

Castell Construction Ltd specialises in the construction of affordable / social housing, typically for registered social landlords across south Wales, and hopes to build 12 one-bedroom flats, 15 two-bed houses, five three-bed, two four-bed, and four two-bed bungalows.

The development package would be part-funded from the housing revenue account, the remainder from the Social Housing Grant and/or second homes premium for affordable housing if it becomes available for the Housing Service to use in this manner.

Cllr Harvey – who moved approval – said the scheme was expected to provide £230,000 a year in rentals income, describing it as “an excellent opportunity to work with a proven developer for extra social housing in an area of proven need.”

Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Miller said he was supportive of the scheme, as was local member Cllr Joshua Beynon, saying: “It’s a bit of an eyesore at the moment, if we can bring this site back into meaningful use, and in an area where there is a need, I’m all in support of this.”

Members backed senior officers be delegated powers to enter into the works contract, and to have powers to proceed with the land acquisition.

If a subsequent planning permission is secured for the site, the homes could be built by autumn 2026.

In a prime location at one of the entrances to Pembroke Dock, the former Cleddau Bridge Hotel has been derelict since a fire in March 2019, which brought emergency services from as far afield as Ammanford, Aberystwyth and Swansea.

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County Hall to offer space for community banking

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A CALL for Pembrokeshire County Council to potentially change its banking arrangement with Barclays, after it closed its Haverfordwest branch has been turned down, but County Hall is to offer space for community banking.

Barclays Bank, on the town’s High Street, is to close on May 10.

The council has had a banking services contract with Barclays since 2013.

Councillor Huw Murphy, in a notice of motion heard by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet meeting of April 22, asked the council to review its banking arrangements with Barclays following the announced closure.

e said the loss of a branch “not only impacts upon town centres and businesses but also disproportionately impacts the elderly who are less likely to embrace on-line banking options”.

A report for Cabinet members said, in terms of the impact on Pembrokeshire residents, Barclays has said that it is “not leaving Haverfordwest and [will] continue to provide face-to-face support for those who need it” via community locations.

Two options were presented to Cabinet: to retender the banking services contract, and, the favoured, to work with Barclays to ensure a community location is set up in Haverfordwest.

Members heard the costs associated with moving to a new banking service provider could be in excess of £50,000.

For the second, favoured option, members heard Barclays was in discussions with the council about a location for potential community banking.

Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack, after outlining the risks in the report for members, and moving the notice be not adopted, said he had “considerable sympathy” with Cllr Murphy’s notice.

He told councillors there was a glimmer of light for banking arrangements in the county, with an agreement now signed for two ground floor rooms at County Hall, Haverfordwest, to be used for community banking.

From April 25, the rooms will be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, members heard.

Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery Cllr Jon Harvey also said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the motion, adding: “It’s excellent news a deal has been struck to occupy the ground floor rooms three days a week; hopefully this will mitigate, to a certain amount, the closure.

“If we can work with the respective banks to get a community-type approach let’s move forward.”

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Little and Broad Haven RNLI to feature in Saving Lives at Sea

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RNLI/Denys Bassett-Jones

As the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) marks 200 years of lifesaving, the volunteer lifeboat crew of Little and Broad Haven are set to take to the nation’s television screens on Tuesday 30 April as they feature in the ninth series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two and iPlayer.

The new series comes in the wake of an incredible milestone for the RNLI, as the charity marked two centuries of lifesaving on 4 March 2024.

After a special first episode which took a closer look at RNLI crews’ involvement in the Second World War, nine further episodes in the series focus on the lifesaving work of today’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards, featuring footage captured on helmet and lifeboat cameras including Little and Broad Haven RNLI.

Viewers will be able to watch dramatic rescues as they unfold through the eyes of RNLI lifesavers, as well as meeting the people behind the pagers and hearing from the rescuees and their families who, thanks to the RNLI, are here to tell the tale.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 30 April sees Little and Broad Haven RNLI tasked alongside St. Davids lifeboat to a mayday call for a capsized dinghy with three people in the water near Newgale Beach. The episode will also show rescue stories from fellow lifeboat crew volunteers at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Andrew Thomas, Helm of the Little and Broad Haven lifeboat crew featured in the forthcoming episode, says: ‘The shout out to Pointz Castle is a great opportunity for the public to witness how our small community lifeboat station in Pembrokeshire operates.

‘It’s unusual to have the opportunity to work alongside so many other rescue services, including a local fishing boat who responded to the mayday call. A successful outcome to any shout is always a positive one. The sea can catch anybody out.’

Michael Bool, one of the volunteer crew on that rescue says: ‘The shout was an opportunity to put many aspects of our training into practice, alongside other RNLI assets. As volunteer crew we put the time and effort into training to be on call to assist others when in difficulty at sea, and this shout was a good example of why we do it.

‘Saving Lives at Sea gives an insight into why the RNLI is such an important service for coastal communities and visitors, both in terms of education and rescue when required. It was great to be invited to show some of what we do in Little and Broad Haven’.

Another volunteer crew member on that day, Gareth Light, says: ‘This was a great example of why the RNLI is such a valuable service and even better that everyone got to go home safely. Filming with Saving Lives at Sea was a great opportunity to give the general public a look at our lives and experiences as volunteer crew for the RNLI.’

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day lives on the coast. Rescues from the RNLI archives are also revisited, and we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives at sea.

Saving Lives at Sea
is broadcast at 8pm on Tuesdays on BBC Two and iPlayer.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Denys Bassett-Jones, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on Denys[email protected].

Alternatively you can contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Regional Communications Manager on [email protected] or 07977 728315, or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Little and Broad Haven RNLI crew with St.Davids Lifeboat

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI – public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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