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Retrospective migrant hotel gets okay despite concerns

22 Sep 2023 3 minute read
County Hall, Haverfordwest.

Bruce SinclairLocal Democracy Reporter

A Pembrokeshire hotel that has been used as accommodation for migrant agricultural workers since March, may continue despite concerns about antisocial behaviour.

A retrospective ‘application’ submitted last month by Recruitment service Pro-Force Ltd and Pembrokeshire agricultural business Puffin Produce Ltd informed county planners the Nant Y Ffin Hotel, Llandissilio is being used to house up to 67 seasonal workers.

The hotel has been used for accommodation for seasonal migrant workers since March, with up to 48 there at any one time.

Agent Geraint John Planning Ltd, in a statement submitted to county planners, felt there is no need for an actual planning application as the accommodation for workers at the hotel did not represent a change of use of the building.

It said no physical changes have been made to the hotel for its new role, and that “only when works are to be undertaken to the building, to support its function, will full planning permission be sought for the change of use brought about by such works”.

System

It added: “The application is accordingly made purely in the interest of transparency, to confirm the exact present use and function of the hotel, which is to provide accommodation for seasonal workers.”

Recruitment service Pro-Force runs a ‘Seasonal Workers Scheme’ that has been running for three years, managed by the Home Office under the T5 (temporary worker) seasonal worker category of the immigration system.

Geraint John Planning Ltd said workers are transported throughout the county to work at Puffin Produce facilities, carrying out farming and field-based work in the horticulture and dairy sectors at local farms and business within a 40-mile radius of the site.

“Puffin Produce is an expanding business, and thus its employee requirement is increasing year on year to fulfil the needs of the business. Some field-based roles are proving impossible to fill with workers from the local region, and as such, Puffin require seasonal workers from the European market to fulfil the employment requirements commensurate with the existing and ever-increasing capacity of the business.”

Concerns have been raised by neighbouring community councils Llandissilio and Clunderwen about antisocial behaviour, with workers congregating outside of the building and within the nearby chapel grounds; as well as a loss of value to local properties, increased pedestrian footfall and road safety issues/street lighting, and how workers will be integrated into the community.

A report by council planning officers said: “In considering the impact of potential anti-social behaviour and increased noise, the applicant has submitted details of its expectations of occupants’ behaviour and a complaints process to deal with any concerns within the locality.”


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