Fourth time lucky for Trout chalets in Pembrokeshire?

AN application to build holiday chalets at a trout fishery in north Pembrokeshire will have to be considered for a fourth time, despite planners backing the scheme twice in a row.

Plans to provide nine accommodation cabins and ancillary works at a former fishery business at Millbrook, Manorwen, Fishguard, were backed at yesterday’s May 23 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council planning committee, despite being recommended for refusal for a third time.

Last month, members of the county council’s planning committee said they were ‘minded to approve’ the application.

The cautious approval – made following a site visit proposed at the previous meeting – meant it would return to this committee for ratification.

Members were also told that any full approval at the May meeting would mean the decision, a departure from the adopted Local Development Plan, would have to be formally advertised and referred to full council for a final decision.

Officers have repeatedly recommended the application by Messrs L & C Williams – diversification of an existing agricultural holding and trout fishery business – be refused on the grounds it would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the character and appearance of the countryside.

A report for planners said commercial farming at the site ended in 1998, but that use of the pond as a recreational trout fishery, which commenced in 1994, had continued to date.

However, it added there is no ready evidence of recent use for recreational fishery on-site.

Speaking at the May meeting, local member Councillor Delme Harris said: “I’m a bit disappointed that we’ve come back again with the recommendation to refuse rather than working with potential developers in how we can get these things ‘over the line’.”

He said backing the application would be “supporting a Pembrokeshire family investing in our area, bringing people into our area and giving much-needed support for the people of Fishguard and Goodwick”.

Councillor Brian Hall – normally a support of officer recommendations by his own admission – had previously moved approval at the April meeting, did so again.

“I’m not a fisherman, my idea of fish is wrapped in a daily newspaper; if I was a fisherman, I would’ve liked to go to a place like this,” said Cllr Hall.

He added: “I think it would definitely bring more benefit to the area and the economy; I have no hesitation in moving we approve this application today.”

Some other members raised their concerns about a departure from planning policy by supporting the application, with Councillor Michael Williams feeling there were no strong arguments to do so.

Members voted to go against officers’ recommendations to refuse by nine votes to four.

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