A SCHEME to create an indoor craft market/traders barn on the site of a deer farm attraction was almost unanimously backed at full council despite being repeatedly recommended for refusal.
Mr and Mrs Evans of Great Wedlock, Gumfreston, near Tenby, sought a change of use of a former agricultural barn to the trading barn for up to 35 traders selling local produce and crafts, operating up to 61 days a year.
The plans, backed twice by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee after an initial ‘minded to’ approval as it went against officer recommendations – also included an additional 30 parking bays on the site of a former silage clamp.
Reasons for refusal given by officers included the potential for negative impacts on the existing provision of local shops in nearby rural settlements.
At the November meeting, the second time it was considered, Mr Evans said the scheme would not sell any food, but would be a showcase for the “high quality arts and crafts market,” with many interested parties contacting him since the last meeting.
He said the trading barn would allow start-up businesses free space at first “to enable them to get a foothold on the business ladder,” with the intention of different crafts makers showcasing their products each week, and was about “bringing this exciting opportunity to the people of Pembrokeshire.”
As the scheme was a departure from planning policy it was considered by full council at its December 14 meeting.
It was recommended members did not endorse the resolution of the planning committee, on the grounds it would have the potential to have negative impacts on nearby local rural shops and it fails to comply with planning policies in the Local Development Plan for Pembrokeshire.
If members backed the resolution of the planning committee, a long string of conditions were proposed.
Approval was moved by chair of planning committee, Cllr Jacob Williams, who told members no objections had been received.
Local member councillor Rhys Jordan, who had previously supported the application, said supporting it was “the right decision to make”.
The application was approved by 43 votes to one.