Redevelopment of Milford Haven’s Motor World stalls as council seeks out new contractors for a third time

By Bruce Sinclair

Long-term plans to redevelop a Milford Haven “eyesore” have been labelled “a fiasco” with the council goes out to tender for a contractor for a third time.

The former Motor World site on Milford Haven’s Charles Street had been “a long-term eyesore” in one of the town’s main streets before a January 2020 approval to redevelop it as residential flats.

The area had been an eyesore for several years before demolition; former councillor Stephen Joseph saying at the time the flats scheme would fill “a great big ugly hole in the town centre that’s been there a long time now,” adding at the time: “The previous building was an eyesore.”

Back in 2021, site contractor WRW construction was put into administration by its directors under what was described as, ‘significant financial stress’.

Since then, a 2022 tender exercise for the site bore no fruit, with an ongoing tender exercise hoping to land a contractor.

Milford Haven Hakin County Councillor Mike Stoddart, who has previously raised concerns about the Motor World site, asked a pre-submitted question at the March 2 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s full council.

Cllr Stoddart asked: “Can the Leader [Cllr David Simpson] update members on the likely timeline for the development at the former Motor World building in Charles Street, Milford Haven?”

Answering the question, Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery Jon Harvey said: “It’s unfortunate and frustrating we have to go to tender for a third time.”

He said tender exercises in 2022 had only produced one applicant which didn’t fully meet council criteria, with the latest offer to tender valid until the end of March.

Members were told it was hoped any suitable applicant could be able to start works by next year.

Cllr Stoddart said: “I was asking questions of Keith Lewis [former deputy leader] in 2017, nothing has happened; it’s a fiasco.”

He added: “Milford Haven Port Authority have built a huge hotel down the docks in the meantime; there seems to be something wrong with the council’s contract delivery system.”

Cllr Harvey said it was hoped the latest tender exercise would lead to engagement to push the scheme forward.

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