Controversial plans to transform historic Pembrokeshire dockyard won’t be called in by the Welsh Government
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
Ambitious plans to transform Pembroke Dock’s historic dockyard which will see some areas such as a dock covered with sand and “infilled” will not be called in by the Welsh Government, it has been confirmed today.
Objectors had complained that the plans were too large and would damage the historic dockyard, as well as having a visual impact on the dock.
However a decision of “non-intervention” in the case of the Port of Milford Haven’s application at Pembroke Dockyard has been published today as part of planning decisions under consideration by Welsh Government officials report.
Planning approval for the plan to demolish some buildings, part demolition and infill of slipways, erection of buildings and ancillary works at the port was determined by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee in May but permission was not to be issued until the Welsh Government made its decision.
The proposals saw opposition from local heritage campaigners, with the “most contentious issue” being the size of two proposed buildings which the project’s critics say would impact adversely the landscape.
‘Once in a generation’
Concerns have also been raised by heritage campaigners who have said the planned reconstruction of the port as “terminal damage” to the area, with the loss of buildings an elements of the dockyard that have significant heritage value.
But the economic benefit of the £60 million marine energy project “far outweigh” any impact on the historic environment, a report to committee said.
Councillors were told that the application was against planning policy in terms of “significant harm” and impact on the historic environment as well as visual impacts but met a number of national planning policies relating to marine and renewable energy.
Tim James, head of commercial and energy at the Port of Milford Haven called the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Pembrokeshire’s economy for years to come”. The employment and economic benefits were also highlighted in a planning report presented to the council.
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Visual impact? This is an area that has two LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plants, one refinery (there used to be four), an oil storage depot (a former oil refinery) and a gas-fired power station. If they are worried about visual impact then that ship sailed a long time ago – back in the late 1950s with the arrival of the Esso oil refinery.