£6million expansion of holiday park recommended for refusal again by planners

A PROPOSED £6m expansion of a south Pembrokeshire holiday park is again being recommended for refusal at a special meeting of full council, despite r being backed by planners twice in a row.

The application for the works at Heritage Park, Pleasant Valley/Stepaside, which had attracted hundreds of objections, was backed by county planners at their September meeting, and again at the October meeting, despite being continually recommended for refusal by officers.

It had returned to the October 3 meeting after a ‘minded to approve’ cooling-off period was invoked following the September decision, as it was against officer recommendations.

The controversial scheme includes the installation of 48 bases for holiday lodges, a spa facility at a former pub, holiday apartments, a café and cycle hire, equestrian stables, a manège and associated office, and associated works.

Heritage Leisure Development (Wales) Ltd, is proposing a £6m investment at the site, next to the historic remains of the 19th century Stepaside ironworks and colliery, which it says will create 44 jobs.

Officer grounds for refusal, based on the Local Development Plan, included the site being outside a settlement area.

At the October meeting, Tenby councillor Michael Williams, appealed for members to turn down the scheme: “You are going to destroy the very thing that most people come into this area for, it is called Pleasant Valley, if you allow this decision it will no longer be a ‘pleasant valley’.

“We are allowing the destruction of our natural environment, please listen to the local people, they have to live with this, and they are against it, and we have a duty to listen to them.”

After being backed for a second time at the October meeting, by eight votes to four, it will now be considered at a special extraordinary meeting of the county council taking place this Friday, November 10.

It is recommended the council does not endorse the resolution of the planning committee, instead refusing the application, a report stating: “The reasons advanced by the planning committee in support of the proposal do not outweigh the adopted Local Development Plan policies which direct that planning permission should refused.”

In the event councillors are minded to endorse the resolution of the committee, officers are recommending a long string of conditions.

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