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AN eco-tourism and education centre was given the green light by county planners despite concerns about road safety and traffic.

Near neighbours to the proposed Butterfly Haven at The Downs, Llanteg had objected to the proposal for the year-round visitor attraction featuring moths, butterflies, birds, and insects.

The approved conservation biomes, cafe, reception, education centre, birdhouses, ponds, and landscaping, along with car parking, will be built in phases over seven to ten years with the potential to see 25,000 visitors a year.

Four biomes – for European, South American, Southeast Asian and African species – would be built on the rough pasture land, wildlife gardens, ponds, and nature reserve areas linked into existing wildlife corridors.

Planning agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries spoke on behalf of applicant Kevin Caley at the Pembrokeshire County Council planning committee on Tuesday (November 5).

He said that Mr Caley, a zoologist and marine biologist with a PhD in evolutionary ecology, was a “passionate man when it comes to moths and butterflies.”

Conservation was a key element of the project, which will also create ten jobs, and the “small scale visitor centre” would help fund it, said Mr Vaughan-Harries.

Neighbour Malcolm Thomas told the committee his concerns about highway safety and the impact on his access with increased visitors, which is shared with the access to the site.

This was echoed by councillors David Pugh and Vic Dennis but the committee agreed that conditions linked to the application would be sufficient to mitigate problems.

There were 17 letters of support – with just two against – the proposed development which includes widening of the existing entrance to the site and improvements to the existing nearby village hall car park.

Delegated power was granted for the interim head of planning to permit the application following the resolution of drainage issues.

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