Pembrokeshire County Council has been criticised by town councillors for not moving fast enough in getting ‘spades into the ground’ to help alleviate Tenby’s housing crisis.

Concerns were raised by members of Tenby Town Council around the table this month, when provided with an update on the planned Brynhir housing development.

Last year, PCC’s Housing department asked the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to modify the Section 106 legal agreement ahead of an official updated application, relating to the number of affordable houses associated with the development.

It is now expected that only 125 houses out of the previously proposed 144 will be built, with just under 90 being affordable.

At their meeting this month, councillors in Tenby were given a progress report from PCC’s Lauren Price which stated that an ‘Invitation to Tender’ for potential contractors should be ready to ‘go live’ some time this month.

“As we intend to use an alternative framework, this has meant additional preparation with procurement to ensure the process will not deter potential bidders whilst ensuring best interest of the Authority are safeguarded,” stated Ms Price in giving a procurement update.

“A decision on the planning reserved matters has still not been received. PCNPA have received a few queries and matters raised from consultees, which the design team are in the process of resolving.

“Our planning consultant continues to engage with PCNPA to progress and address the matters raised, and once these are addressed/answered, the application should be considered by the planning committee.”

In response, Cllr Laurence Blackhall said he’d had too many ‘anguished conversations’ around the table about Brynhir, stating: “One thing that is a delight is the acceptance of the need for social housing and the commitment of PCC to deliver it, but my real concern is that it is not moving fast enough.”

“Expectations have been raised; local families are facing dire conditions in regards to housing and things are only getting worse!” proposing that the council write to PCC’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery expressing ‘real concerns’ about the timetable of the development, calling for ‘rigour’ in relation to dates and deadlines to ensure everything is being done to get ‘spades into the ground’.

“These houses are needed now. We need rapid movement from county through the final stages to deliver Brynhir. They need to step on the gas to get it done before the end of this council’s term,” stressed Cllr Blackhall.

His fellow member Cllr Sam Skyrme-Blackhall echoed these views, stating: “This development has been a can kicked down the line, faced opposition and many, many conversations.

“From my perspective though there are over 5,000 waiting for housing, families face overcrowding in two-bed properties or in hotel rooms. The situation is really difficult.

“With Brynhir in place it will start a rotation where single people in three bed houses can move to one bed properties and free them up for families.

“It won’t solve the problem but it will help alleviate it a little,” she added.