Plans to convert a disused former World War Two RAF wireless buildings to holiday lets have been turned down by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Gina Smithies, of Marloes, sought the conversion of the disused RAF wireless buildings – formerly used for agricultural storage – at Philbeach Farm, Dale, to holiday lets.
The larger of the two BCF (British Concrete Federation) buildings is proposed to be converted into two holiday lets and the smaller building used for the storage of surf boards, wet suits, and as a recycling and amenity area.
Marloes & St Brides Community Council had supported the application, the only proviso being an objection to the restriction of use to holiday letting only.
Agent eadstudio4, in its supporting statement, said: “During the Second world war Pembrokeshire had more airfields that any other part of Wales. Talbenny airport overlooking St Brides Bay and Dale looking over Milford Haven and west over Marloes Sands to Skokholm were constructed in 1941/42. Dale had a frontline role when Wellington bombers of No 304 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Coastal Command arrived.
“The squadron’s role was anti-submarine patrol. They took part in the bombing raids on ports in occupied France. In September 1943 the airfield was transferred from RAF to Royal Navy. Dale has perhaps the best preserved ‘dispersed site’ in Pembrokeshire (buildings were spread out over a large area to minimise damage from enemy bombing).
“It is unique in that it has examples of both RAF and Royal Navy architecture.
“The main accommodation site for Dale at Grabhall Farm (on the hill just south of Philbeach Farm) has many of the original buildings preserved. The proposal is to convert two buildings to northwest of the accommodation area on the Marloes to Dale Road.”
It added: “Whilst not ‘pretty’ buildings they have been sitting in the exposed landscape for some 80 years and are part of the area’s heritage. The buildings are now in a poor state of repair with no longer have any practical use for modern agriculture practice (currently giving inadequate storage of wooden potato packing boxes).”
National Park planners refused the application on grounds including it “would result in an unsustainable development which is to the detriment of the special landscape character of this part of the National Park which the National Park has a statutory duty to conserve and enhance”.