EXPANSION of a successful holiday park in south Pembrokeshire got a provisional green light but will be back before councillors before final approval is given.
An application to add 20 lodges at Florence Springs – part of the Heatherton World of Activities complex at St Florence – was recommended for refusal as it was against planning policy outlined in the Local Development Plan (LDP).
At Tuesday’s (June 15) planning committee there was strong support for the application and the “economic benefit” to the area with members “minded to approve” subject to a further planning report on the implications of approval and conditions to be imposed, said Cllr Jacob Williams, committee chairman.
Applicant Charles Davies said increasing the lodges at Florence Springs would provide “stability and year round jobs” with the aim of adding ten extra roles as well as increasing other part time jobs to full time.
The application includes a managers/security dwelling linked to a new ‘meet and great’ office building, creation of an amenity lake, landscaping and biodiversity enhancements.
Local members Cllrs Phil Kidney and Jonathan Preston spoke at committee, with Cllr Kidney giving his full backing to the proposal and highlighting the economic benefits, particularly during winter while Cllr Preston added that although planning law defined the lodges as caravans as they can be moved there was no intention to do so.
Cllr David Pugh added that the attraction was one of the best in Pembrokeshire, if not Wales, and was “vital” to the economy of rural south Pembrokeshire.
“The economic benefits totally outweigh any of the objections,” added Cllr Pugh.
This was echoed by Cllr Tim Evans who pointed to the recent addition of 80 lodges at Bluestone “that flew through planning” adding this was a chance to support a company that has been in business 30 years improve its year round offer.
Cllr Vic Dennis also supported the application “with some trepidation” reminding members that the planning policy and LDP which officers found the plan was contrary to had been approved by councillors.
It was unanimously agreed to approve the application following consideration of a report on the “ramifications” and conditions required at next month’s planning committee. The content of the report will also determine whether final sign off from full council will also be necessary.