A SCHEME to create an indoor craft market/traders barn on the site of a deer farm attraction will be decided by full council after it was backed by planners a second time.
Mr and Mrs Evans of Great Wedlock, Gumfreston, near Tenby sought a change of use of a former agricultural barn to the trading barn for up to 35 traders selling local produce and crafts, operating up to 61 days a year.
The plans – recommended for refusal at the November 7 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee – also included an additional 30 parking bays on the site of a former silage clamp.
The plans had been given a ‘minded to’ backing by committee members at their October meeting, meaning it had to return to the November meeting as the decision went against officer recommendations for refusal.
Reasons for refusal given by officers included the potential for negative impacts on the existing provision of local shops in nearby rural settlements.
A previous application for the trading barn was refused by county planners on the basis it would represent an “unjustified use in a countryside location and contains insufficient information in respect of sustainable travel options” and the lack of a detailed Retail Impact Assessment (RIA), which has been incorporated in the resubmitted application, at a cost of £10,000 to applicant Andrew Evans.
At the November meeting, Mr Evans said the scheme would not sell any food, but would be a showcase for the “high quality arts and crafts market,” with many interested parties contacting him since the last meeting.
He said the trading barn would allow start-up businesses free space at first “to enable them to get a foothold on the business ladder,” with the intention of different crafts makers showcasing their products each week, and was about “bringing this exciting opportunity to the people of Pembrokeshire.”
Moving the application be supported, local member councillor Rhys Jordan said there was “no objection whatsoever from the people of the local community”.
Urging members to support the application, he said there had been “some 400-500 positive comments” on the scheme since local press coverage of the previous meeting.
He was backed by Councillor Brian Hall, who said there were a long list of conditions recommended by officers if the scheme was approved.
Members heard the retail impact assessment had calculated a one per cent impact on the economy of Tenby during those 61 days the trading barn was operating.
Cllr Jordan said: “While I understand there’s a one per cent impact, not one business has raised an issue, they fully support this application; I don’t think we should be hung up on one per cent.”
The application was backed by 13 votes to one, and will now return to a full council meeting for a final decision.