Penally Training Camp - controversially used to house asylum seekers during the Covid lockdowns - has been put up for sale by the UK Government.

The former military facility near Tenby, which opened in 1860, was used extensively throughout both World Wars, but was repurposed as temporary accommodation by the Home Office to hold asylum seekers from September 2020 until March 21 the following year, during the pandemic.

Eventually, the training camp returned to Military of Defence control, following a damning inspection report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the independent chief inspector of Borders and Immigration, which highlighted the environment as being “rundown”, “impoverished” and “unsuitable for long-term accommodation”.

Penally Community Council learnt towards the end of last year, that both Penally Camp and firing range were to permanently close, sparking speculation as to who may purchase the site.

It has now appeared for sale on the UK Government property finder website, which states that the 5.8223-hectare site is classified as ‘other land’ and is for sale as ‘land only’ - meaning that that any changes to the site, including a ‘change of use’ will require planning permission from Pembrokeshire County Council.

An 85.9846-hectare rifle range located on the site are also included for sale, and any development on that land would require approval from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. 0.1740-hectare sewage works on the land are also up for sale.

Penally Training Camp (Pic. Gareth Davies Photography)

The Chair of Penally Community Council, Cllr Sarah Snow, said towards the end of 2022: “We appreciate the firing range and camp may no longer be suitable for use by the MoD, however local people will be rightly concerned about the future of this land.”

County Councillor for the wards of Penally and Manorbier, Cllr Phil Kidney has said that ideally, the land could be used for affordable housing.

“It’s not a huge surprise - we knew the camp was coming out of commission,” he remarked.

(Pic. Gareth Davies Photography)