Plans for a community hub and associated works, part of the second phase of Pembroke’s South Quay Regeneration Scheme, are expected to be approved despite concerns raised by the town council.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, at their October 3 meeting, will consider an application by the local authority for the erection of a community hub with associated infrastructure works at the Grade II-listed 7 Northgate Street.

Led by Pembrokeshire County Council, the South Quay project, by Pembroke Castle, centres on the rebuild of formerly derelict properties on Castle Terrace to create a new public visitor centre, library and café.

The proposal includes the refurbishment of No 7; demolition of the existing public toilets; construction of a four-storey ‘L-shape’ extension building, a three-storey frontage to South Quay and the extension of a public space and reconfiguration within the car park.

The community hub – recommended for delegated approval – would provide a service for older people, learning and skills areas to support independent living, and continued education for people with disability, and supported employment opportunities.

Pembroke Town Council, Pembroke Castle Trust, Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society, and local resident Richard Naylor have all objected to the proposal, saying it would be an overdevelopment of the conservation area which would not preserve its character, and would tower over neighbouring buildings such as the nearby Royal George hotel.

At a May public meeting, chaired by Pembroke Mayor Cllr Aden Brinn, those present felt the development was not in keeping with the historic character of the town.

“It was agreed that the proposal to locate a ‘Social Services’ hub at the quayside was totally inappropriate and would not benefit the regeneration of the town,” a statement from the town council said.

Richard Naylor, a member of the public present said: “The proposal is a gross over-development of the constrained building site, resulting in a dense layout of accommodation with little natural light or ventilation.

“The over-height buildings are out of scale with the existing Royal George and the listed 7 Northgate Street.”

The meeting also received written responses to the planning application from the Trustees of Pembroke Castle and The Pembroke Civic Trust – both echoing the comments and concerns of the town council.

A report for planners suggests minor amendments to existing plans, requesting delegated authority for the Head of Planning to determine the application following receipt of satisfactory details.

A condition requiring an archaeological investigation is also required, the report says.

It adds the principle of the development is supported by local development plan policy but “a number of planning conditions are necessary to ensure delivery would be in accordance with these policies as well as the submission of amended plans”.