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Developers interested in South Quay

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South Quay: Developers are seriously looking at the buildings in Pembroke

A PROPERTY developer is ‘seriously’ looking at a development opportunity for South Quay in Pembroke.

The matter was discussed at the meeting of Cabinet on Monday, January 11, where the Council’s Head of Property, Mr Barry Cooke, told members that a developer was interested in developing the site. The site, known as South Quay, near Pembroke Castle, has been the subject of many marketing exercises but a number of developers have pulled out.

The buildings which front Castle Terrace and Northgate Street have been vacant for a number of years and are also in a poor condition. Cllr Sue Perkins described the site as an ‘important part of the town’ while Cllr Simon Hancock said it was ‘vital to the future regeneration’ of the town. Cllr Keith Lewis said: “South Quay is a substantial property and it has always been important to us in terms of seeing some progress for some time. There was, twelve months ago, a developer in place who subsequently withdrew.

“There is planning permission in place at the site and there is a detailed scheme available. More recently we have failed to see any progress and what makes this critical and a substantial risk to the authority is that there are elements of this building that are deteriorating at an alarming rate. “I haven’t been inside the building but I have seen pictures that seem to suggest that anything could happen at any time and obviously the liability would be ours so it is to our advantage to see progress on this.

“What the recommendation calls for is that we again look for some way forward and that there be ongoing discussions with Welsh Government and a further report to Cabinet. “I am not unhappy with that situation because I recognise that if we can bring in a developer which is to our advantage but I would like to strengthen it and also suggest that there should be a further report to see if we could utilise other money, in particular the sums available in the Town Centre Loan Fund as the basis of a project which we will carry out.”

Cllr Sue Perkins added: “This is absolutely brilliant and I speak on behalf of everybody who lives in Pembroke. This building has been in very bad condition for a long period of time. It’s in such an important part of the town. I’m really glad that whatever is done here will be done sympathetically and we know that will happen.”

Cllr Simon Hancock said: “This parcel of land is in such a strategic position that it’s absolutely vital to the future regeneration and economic well-being of the town of Pembroke. I’m heartened by the suggestion that we will be bold and imaginative and perhaps using some sort of direct action from the HRA, would be a really good way of cutting the knot because we’ve been at this for years and we need to do something to push this forward.”

Cllr Huw George added: “I’m sure everybody throughout the county will look at this and say this needs to be done because Pembroke brings in hundreds and thousands of people every year and I think all the people of Pembrokeshire will support this so let’s get on with this and make this another jewel in the crown of our county.”

Council Head of Property, Mr Barry Cooke said: “Clearly in terms of the previous appointed developer who has subsequently withdrawn when that looked as though it was getting a bit shaky and they might not be proceeding. “We’ve obviously continued to cast the net out and I met with developers last week who confirmed they are looking quite seriously at this as an opportunity. There is still potential interest there and pursuing that alongside other opportunities would be the way forward.” Dr Steven Jones confirmed that the Town Centre Loan Fund would be available to the authority.

Cllr Keith Lewis said he was not aware that there was already interest but added that he did not want to be back in the same place in six months’ time having to start again.

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