A resubmitted scheme to create an indoor farmers' market/traders barn on the site of a deer farm attraction on the outskirts of Tenby has been backed by planners despite an officer recommendation to refuse.
Mr and Mrs Evans of Great Wedlock, Gumfreston, near Tenby sought a change of use of a former agricultural barn to the trading barn for up to 35 traders selling local produce and crafts, operating up to 61 days a year on the site of a recently-opened deer park attraction.
The plans – recommended for refusal at the October 3 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee – also included an additional 30 parking bays on the site of a former silage clamp.
A previous application for the trading barn was refused by county planners on the basis it would represent an “unjustified use in a countryside location and contains insufficient information in respect of sustainable travel options”.
A point of concern at that meeting was the lack of a detailed Retail Impact Assessment (RIA), which has been incorporated in the resubmitted application, at a cost of £10,000 to the applicant.
It says the proposed development “would have no negative impact on the local retail provision”.
Speaking at the October meeting, applicant Andrew Evans said: “There are no objections to this proposed change of use by anyone other than Pembrokeshire County Council officers.
“This is not a large-scale out of town retail shopping centre, it is a makers’ barn.
“We do not want traders in there selling Chinese imports, it’s upmarket bespoke trading. This is something Pembrokeshire would be proud of; I can assure you of that.”
Local member Councillor Rhys Jordan moved the application be approved, saying: “I’ve been inundated with residents that support this, they have been completely behind every part of it; I see no reason but the ‘black and white’ of policy to refuse this.”
He added: “The retail assessment is clear, there will be no impact on Tenby, I urge members to really consider it for its merits.
“I would not support something that I felt would damage the economy of Tenby and Saundersfoot; this is creating an economy, I don’t believe the applicant has any intention of stealing trade, I believe he is only intending to help the local economy.”
Cllr Mark Carter said: “We’ve got an applicant who has thrown £10,000 on this, he’s fully behind it. I don’t have any fear of him competing with any of the local shops.”
Members unanimously backed a ‘minded to’ approval as the decision went against an officer recommendation, meaning the application will come back to a future meeting for final determination.