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Milford Haven Pembrokeshire Politics West Wales

Plans to convert former school into hotel, partly delayed by Covid, gets new approval

Herbrandston School (Pic: Google/Kimpton Durham John Associates)

A SCHEME to convert a former Milford Haven school into a hotel and restaurant, which was partly delayed by the Covid pandemic, has again been backed by national park planners.

Mr & Mrs S & N Arnold of Port Engineering Ltd sought permission to convert the former Herbrandston CP School to a 10-bedroomed hotel, with other works including an extension to form an entrance, a dining area, new dormers, and a one-bedroomed managers flat.

After the school closed in 2010, a previous near-identical scheme by the applicants was granted in January 2013, but the consent was been implemented, and has now lapsed, leading to the new application.

A statement in support of the latest application, made by agent Kimpton Durham John Associates, said: “The loss of this school as a community facility was made by the local authority after restructuring of education facilities and requirements. The school was closed in July 2010 with the pupils being transferred to its sister school in St Ishmaels.

“The school was put on the market and was open to all offers including those which could have been for a further community use, although none came forward.  Upon the school being vacated in 2010 it was purchased by the applicants who lived in it for a few years prior to its proposed conversion to a hotel.

“The applicants moved out of the building with the intention of starting work but for a number of reasons this did not happen and the previous approval lapsed.

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“The Covid crisis further added to the delay in applying to reinstate the said approval.  The proposed use for the building will enhance it and provide employment opportunities.”

A report for planners, with a recommendation of approval, stated: “The application has been re-evaluated under current national and local policies, and is capable of support subject to appropriate conditions.

“The development will not negatively impact on the special qualities of the National Park, nor raise any other material planning concerns.  It is therefore recommended for permission, subject to conditions.”

The application was considered – and approved – under delegated powers as Herbrandston Community Council offered no objection to the proposal.

The Public Protection department at Pembrokeshire County Council was consulted with regard to the proposed restaurant use, and a number of conditions have been suggested to protect residential amenity.

The application was conditionally approved by planning officers under delegated powers.