Plans for ‘eyesore motel to be redeveloped as tourism and community business hub
Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter
A derelict ‘eyesore’ motel close to the Pembrokeshire seaside village of Newgale could soon be redeveloped as a tourism and community business hub.
A Pre-Application Consultation was launched today, September 15, by Nick Neumann of Newgale Holidays on plans to redevelop the former Roch Gate Motel to a mixed commercial and community use hub.
Called ‘The Gate,’ plans for the site include a village shop/post office, bistro/takeaway, conference facilities and business units together ancillary works, and a separate tourism development of up to 25 holiday lodges.
The consultation – and a supporting statement – has been submitted with agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries of Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd ahead of any formal application to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
The application relates to the former motel site, recently purchased by Mr Neumann, and adjacent farmland at Rainbolts Hill Farm on the edge of the village of Roch.
The former motel – dubbed an “eyesore” in previous applications – closed back in 2008 and has a history of later approved planning schemes, including as a bespoke hotel and an affordable housing scheme, but none have come to fruition.
Agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries of Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd, in a supporting statement, said: “The former motel site has laid vacant for several years and is now derelict and largely abandoned.
“Despite an application being granted for its redevelopment as a bespoke hotel and a more recent application for an affordable housing scheme being recommended for approval by the authority (subject to the completion of a legal agreement) neither of these schemes have materialised.
“These schemes were submitted by the previous owner of the site and clearly failed to deliver.
“The application proposal comprises different business, commercial, community and tourism elements. Since purchasing the site more recently, the applicant seeks to present a different and exciting mixed-use redevelopment on the site which would be of significant benefit to the local community.
“The authority has previously accepted that the site is unlikely to return to its previous use as a motel/hotel. Roch has sadly recently lost its only village shop/post office and fish and chip shop. The shop/post office closed in the last 12 months and the fish and chip shop several years ago.
“The proposed business/community hub would include the provision of a replacement village shop/post office, a bistro with small food takeaway facility, rooms that would be available for conferences and local community uses, together with three small business units.”
The statement added: “In addition to the business/community hub, it is also proposed to create a modest tourism development comprising up to 25 holiday lodges on part of the adjacent field to the southwest. This tourism development forms part of the overall business plan for the site and to provide an income stream in support of the main redevelopment site.”
Mr Vaughan-Harries said the applicant also wants “to give back to the local community” with the introduction of a community garden, open to all, including being offered out to local playgroups and schools for learning and development in the outdoors.
Following the launch of the pre-application, Mr Neumann said: “Today is the first notable milestone on our journey to redevelop the former Roch Gate Motel site. Today we launch our Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) and ask for initial feedback to our vision and development plans for the site.
“It’s taken us nearly eight months to get this far and we thank Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd and Landsker Business Solutions Ltd for their support and tenacity.
“The purpose of this Pre-Application Consultation is for everyone to have their say whether good, bad or ugly, as we believe the richness of feedback will only but help us improve upon the scheme.”
All relevant documentation surrounding the proposals is available on the Hayston Development & Planning Ltd website.
Anyone who wishes to make representations about the proposed development must do so by October 20, with the formal consultation period commencing on Monday, September 18.
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