PLANS for a new estate of 54 homes in a south Pembrokeshire seaside village have been given the go-ahead by national park planners, with a condition that 13 are not second homes.
The application for the mixtures of 27 houses and 27 flats/apartments – together with ancillary works – at agricultural land north of Whitlow, Saundersfoot, was made by Morgan Construction (Wales) Limited and Barcud Housing Association.
The application, which includes a mix of 19 affordable properties, meeting the Saundersfoot area requirement for 35 per cent of such properties – was recommended for conditional approval at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s September 6 development management committee.
A report for members highlighted further financial contributions required, including £25,000 for upgrading existing play facilities adjacent to the village’s Regency Hall, and £5,000 to purchase furniture to upgrade the Regency Hall.
No objection to the plans was received by local community council Saundersfoot, other than concerns regarding the possibility of properties being sold as second homes, but several letters of objection were received, raising concerns including the potential for the new dwellings to become holiday lets, loss of privacy to neighbouring properties, loss of views, and the impact on existing property values.
A report for planners said that there was an assumption that just under 29 per cent of properties in Saundersfoot could be categorised as second homes or holiday lets, which could lead to 71 per cent of the apartments – the most likely to be viewed as suitable for second homes – having a sole or main residence condition on them.
This would mean 13 of the 19 open market apartments would have a ‘C3’ main use condition, separate from the affordable housing requirement.
The option of a new Class C3 (primary residence) designation, removing permitted development rights to prevent use of Classes C5 and C6 (second home and holiday lets), was introduced in Wales late last year.
At the September planning meeting, members were told the new ‘C3’ designation was still a learning process for officers, the second such application after a recently-approved change of use of Tenby’s former Royal Mail sorting office to a residential development.
Back in April, members backed the Warren Street, Tenby, plans for 34 units, with a proviso only a quarter could be second homes or holiday lets.
Moving approval, Councillor Rhys Jordan said: “There’s no doubt in my mind it would be an excellent addition to Saundersfoot.”
He was backed by Saundersfoot South councillor Chris Willliams, who said: “We haven’t had a development like that in Saundersfoot for many years,” hoping the development would house families that could help bolster numbers in the nearby school.
Members unanimously backed the application, with a long string of conditions including the ‘C3’ restriction.