THE SITE of a proposed Sainsbury’s supermarket is being marketed as the location for a retirement village.
National agents, Savills, has announced the launch of what it describes as ‘a significant new development opportunity’ in Haverfordwest.
Savills is marketing 6.65 acres of the land at Slade Lane for the development of a retirement village with potential for the provision of care facilities.
The 6.65-acre greenfield site is part of a masterplan to extend Haverfordwest. The masterplan – which covers a 51-acre site – sets out a residential-led development with work on the first phase due to commence in 2019.
In 2013, the County Council granted planning to build a new Sainsbury’s supermarket on land at Slade Lane, permission to the land-banking property speculation group Conygar.
At the time, Conygar asserted that permission for the store was essential to the viability of its plans to build 729 homes around it. The prospect of full-time jobs being created was a significant factor leading to the plan’s enthusiastic endorsement.
Significant infrastructure works took place, including a roundabout and signage before Sainsbury’s pulled out of the project in 2015.
At the time, then-County Councillor Peter Stock said securing a replacement anchor tenant for the site should be ‘a priority’. No new anchor tenant has been announced and it now seems that the building a supermarket is considerably less important to the housing development’s viability than was claimed at the time.
Conygar has a significant track record in Pembrokeshire and the rest of west Wales of submitting ambitious planning applications and then either withdrawing from them or scaling them back. P
lanned Sainsbury’s stores in Cross Hands and Haverfordwest did not materialise and the company withdrew from involvement in the Pembroke Dock Marina plan which had been knocking around for over a decade. In Cardigan, a planned supermarket was never built and, in January 2018, before telling the County Council of its decision, the company announced its withdrawal from a marina scheme in Fishguard.
Gareth Carter, a Director at Savills in Cardiff, is handling the sale, and comments: “The sale at Slade Fields represents an opportunity to be part of a significant new phase of development in this already popular town. Haverfordwest is incredibly well-located, being on the doorstep of Pembrokeshire National Park and close to the resorts of Tenby, St David’s, Folly Farm and Bluestone, and boasting a railway connection to all the main commercial centres in South Wales.
“Just a short walk from the town centre, and part of what is set to be a thriving new town extension, this site will undoubtedly attract interest from regional and national operators. With over 65s accounting for nearly 20% of the population of the town, we expect there will be strong demand for housing and apartments in this location.”
The land at Slade Fields is being offered to the market as a whole or in parts and the seller is willing to consider proposals on a subject to planning basis.
With increasing pressure on health and social care a factor in the future of health provision and council services in Pembrokeshire, it remains to be seen how the additional care burden will be absorbed by already stretched local services if a retirement village is built.
The Herald asked Pembrokeshire County Council to comment on the proposed scheme.
A Council spokesperson said: “The masterplan referred to by Savills is a different one to the Haverfordwest town centre masterplan.
“The owners of the Slade Lane site were required to produce a masterplan for the development of the site when they put forward their initial proposals.
“This masterplan has been approved and will inform the reserved matters applications for the site.
Pembrokeshire County Council has not had any involvement with Savills’ proposals for the Slade Lane site.”