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St Davids: Community Land Trust removes name from joint application

PLANS for a Premier Inn to be built in St Davids received a blow this week as it was announced that the St David’s Peninsula Community Land Trust (CLT) has removed itself from a joint application.

The latest development has prompted protesters to arrange a meeting on July 31 to discuss their ‘tactics going forward’.

In a statement, the group No to Premier Inn (NoPI) said: “We are pleased to be able to say that the CLT Board has agreed to take the CLT’s name off the current joint planning application for Premier Inn and housing on Glasfryn Road. They also acknowledge that this planning application doesn’t have community support.

“As you know, our main aim is to stop a Premier Inn, or any big national chain hotel, being built in St David’s. It would undermine small local businesses and irreparably damage the distinctive character of this special and historic city and its landscape. We have no dispute with the CLT apart from the three points above, and we are sure that most of you, like us, share the CLT’s aims of achieving affordable housing and other benefits for the community.

“We want to reassure you that the CLT’s withdrawal from the current planning application doesn’t mean that affordable housing cannot, or will not, be built on the land. Pembrokeshire Housing Association is still an applicant with Premier Inn, and the National Park Authority would not consider an application from Premier Inn to build only a hotel, as the National Park has allocated the land for housing.

“We will now concentrate on stopping Premier Inn from being built, with your help and by all means open to us in the planning process.

“We intend to get professional advice and raise funds for this.

“We invite you, and any other supporters, to a meeting on Monday 31st July 2017, at 7p.m. in St David’s Rugby Club.

“There will be a short presentation of facts, as we understand them, and an opportunity for us all to consider our tactics going forward. We may well know more about Premier Inn’s and Pembrokeshire Housing Association’s actual planning application, if the pre-application period of public consultation has started by then.”

As a result of this move, one of the CLT board members, Cllr David Lloyd, has resigned.

He says that the move has put plans for a swimming pool and affordable housing at risk.

The group supporting the Premier Inn proposal, Yes to Premier Inn St Davids, added: “Pembrokeshire Housing is still an applicant with Premier Inn, but if Premier Inn do not buy the land and an independent developer does, there could be housing but not the affordable local housing with a swimming pool we all want. The NoPI group has only succeeded in removing the CLT the very organisation set up to provide affordable housing.”

The board chairman of CLT, Bill Preece, said the application has ‘stalled’ due to other applicants having yet to decide if they were moving forward.

He also called the resignation of Cllr Lloyd disappointing.