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Site visit planned for Moylegrove adventure tourism hub following wildlife concerns

The Old Bus Depot, Moylegrove (Pic: Google Street View)

NATIONAL park planners are being recommended to visit the site of a proposed new adventure tourism hub in north Pembrokeshire, which sparked fears that local wildlife will be disturbed by ‘noisy’ coasteerers.

In an application to be heard at the June 5 meeting of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s development management committee, Jet Moore, managing director of Adventure Beyond Ltd, seeks permission for an outdoor adventure centre, with art studio and storage space above, and associated works at The Old Bus Depot, Moylegrove.

The plot was originally used as a bus depot by the founder of the Richards Bros bus company.

Concern have been raised about the scheme, including local community council Nevern.

Opponents fear that increased business for adventure firms will worsen the plight of birds and animals, some of which are on the UK’s amber conservation list.

Dagmarr Moore, founder of the Moylegrove Mermaids sea swimming group, has previously said: “Visitors who speak to us when we’re in the bay say what a beautiful quiet place it is – then the adventure providers descend and the peace has gone.”

Local ecologist Steve Halton has said nesting birds were being disturbed by people scrambling on rocks and jumping into the sea.

In a supporting statement for the scheme, Jet Moore, managing director of coasteering, kayaking and field studies outdoor activities provider Adventure Beyond Ltd, says equipment and vehicles necessary for activities at Ceibwr Bay and surrounds are currently stored at Morawelon Farm in Moylegrove, about one kilometre from the village, but the owner who granted the lease passed away, creating a risk that the family will not renew the lease.

He adds: “Knowing the area well, the Old Bus Depot site is the only suitable commercial site for us to transfer our operations to.

The applicant says there has been “much positive feedback” to the scheme, but adds: “However, I am also aware that, sadly, a small but vocal group has taken against the development. I am not sure exactly what the objections are, all that has been communicated to me is that they are against ‘over-tourism’ at Ceibwr.

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“In that regard their concerns should be addressed to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum and the other members of the Concordat group, as that is where capacity levels are agreed. The development for which planning permission is sought has no direct effect on activity levels, which are driven by the weather and the overall number of tourists coming to Pembrokeshire, but does help to alleviate the issues the community has identified as arising from high levels of tourist visits.”

He concludes: “This development has been part funded by a Shared Prosperity Fund Grant allocated by Pembrokeshire County Council.

The grant must be spent by the end of 2024 or the funds are lost and will be retained by central government. Consequently, time is of the essence, and if planning permission is denied there is no time for an appeal and to construct the building before the end of 2024.

“Because of this the owner of the site, Consulting AM Ltd, has advised me that if planning permission is refused it will give the site to Pembrokeshire County Council, who paid for its acquisition through the grant.

“Assuming the council to be short of funds the site will then remain strewn with glass, metal and plastic and there will be no new replanting. The council may decide to fence it off to reduce its public liability risk, making the site an eyesore.”

Committee members are now recommended to agree to a site visit prior to formal consideration at a later national park planning meeting.