Support our Nation today - please donate here

Plans approved for final stage of improvements to 19th century fort

15 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Thorne Island, Picture: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park webcast.

Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter

The final stage of plans to improve a historic 19th century fort at the gateway to Milford Haven, have been approved by national park planners.

At a meeting of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s planning committee last October, Mike Conner, the owner of technology company Appsbroker, sought retrospective permission for works at Thorne Island Hotel, Angle.

They included the replacement of an “incongruous” and “shanty-like” bar built in the 1960s with a conference room and facilities, as well as the creation of storage areas, the construction of a viewing deck and generator house, and emergency cliff reinforcement.

At that meeting, members heard that, while the application was retrospective, officers said the applicant deserved credit for the work carried out to date, with the removal of the bar area highlighted.

The application, along with a related listed building consent scheme, was approved at that meeting.

However, concerns were later raised over points in the listed aspect by officers, relating to the refurbishment of the multipurpose room and the detail of standing seam roofs and cladding of the storage areas.

Thorne Island, Picture: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park webcast.

The listed building consent has now been conditionally approved by officers.

The Grade II*-listed Thorne Island Fort, on a small island just north of West Angle Bay, was built 1853-54 as an outer defence to Milford Haven against Napoleonic threat.

It was later converted to a hotel by 1947.

After a period of neglect, the fort has been refurbished since 2017 by its present owner, and much of its original infrastructure remains.

A statement submitted in support of the application said: “The key aim of this planning application is to make Thorne Island a truly sustainable proposition. Not only sustainable from an environmental point of view, but also from a financial perspective.

“A great deal of urgently needed restoration work has already taken place on the Island by the current owner, but there is much more to do.”

Thorne Island, Picture: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

It adds: “The living accommodation on the Island has been sympathetically restored to its former original condition and can now accommodate 40 people comfortably.

“The ambition is to make the island financially viable with the refurbishment of the multipurpose room that will act as the focal point for visitors. The aim is to attract corporate events, product launches, music events and entertainment events to the Island.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.