A DECISION on controversial plans to demolish a police station and build a supermarket beside a Civil War earthworks in Carmarthen has been deferred.
Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee will carry out a site visit of the town’s former police station prior to determining an application by Lidl UK.
The item was on the agenda at the latest committee meeting but councillors agreed to visit the Friars Walk site to see the supermarket’s potential impact on The Bulwarks – the remains of a defensive line dating back to the mid-17th Century.
Lidl originally planned to build the supermarket close to The Bulwarks, which is a scheduled ancient monument, but relocated it within the development site as part of an amended scheme.
But the new parking area proposed – plus the widening of a nearby footpath – will require scheduled monument consent from Welsh Government heritage body Cadw.
Planning officer Graham Noakes told the planning committee Cadw will provide the council with a detailed report in the coming days.
He also said a number of archeological trenches have been dug and “some deposits were found” although he didn’t say what these were.
He added: “We are being guided by Cadw.”
Lidl’s plans have prompted 15 letters of objection, including from Carmarthen Civic Society, although eight of them referred to Lidl’s original scheme.
The town council said concerns and requests from Cadw and Dyfed Archaeological Trust should be addressed and that landscaping and planting around the perimeter of the proposed supermarket should be a requirement.
Lidl said five extra jobs would be created if it was allowed to move its existing Carmarthen store, which has a 35-strong workforce, to the proposed larger one at Friars Walk.
The new store would have 122 parking spaces. Lidl proposes to plant new hedges and other beds.
The site is within Carmarthen’s designated air quality management area while part of it is in the Lammas Street Conservation Area.
Planning officers have recommended the supermarket for approval saying it would benefit “a vacant and underused brownfield site”.