PLANS for an extension at the UK’s the first community-owned hardware store have been approved by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Havards Ironmongers shop in Newport, north Pembrokeshire, has been an institution in the north Pembrokeshire town for more than 140 years, selling a wide range of everyday items including tools, cookware and crockery, gardening equipment, and outdoor gear.
Following the announcement that the shop would be placed on the market in 2022, a community share offer launched by the local community in June has since raised £445,000.
Late last year, the community group announced that fund-raising had been successful, and that completion of the purchase was made.
During their campaign, committee members and town volunteers viewed other successful community-owned enterprises in north Pembrokeshire and south Ceredigion including Tafarn Sinc, Rosebush, The White Hart Inn in St Dogmaels and 4CG Cymru Ltd, of Cardigan.
The Havards committee received support from the community development support charity PLANED, as well as Cwmpas, the Wales Co-operative Centre, in setting up the community share offer.
Chairman Clive Hooper said: “I truly wish to thank everyone who has helped and invested in keeping this last traditional ironmongers shop trading in our community here in Trefdraeth.”
Following on from the successful community purchase, Mr Hooper, of Siop Havard’s – SHGT Community Benefit Society Ltd, has now applied for an extension to the rear of the shop, which will be considered by national park planners at a later date.
The application for the East Street site, submitted through agents Agent MacRae Associates, states the extension will replace an existing “poorly constructed timber, lean-to storage area and W/C,” adding: “These areas are not properly integrated into the main building and require staff to go outside to use them. The extension will create extra shop floor space, improve storage space for stock and create better facilities for the staff and volunteers.”
The application also included a plan for new signage to the front of the building.
Newport Town Council was unable to discuss the application when it came before members, a report for planners stated.
“A number of councillors declared an interest in this application in various capacities such as a close neighbour investor or committee member.
“Those councillors indicated their intention to exclude themselves from the meeting insofar as this application was concerned. That being the case the meeting was not quorate and unable to discuss this application.”