Haverfordwest Town Council in £50,000 bid to hijack castle hotel project
Controversial plans for a 'boutique hotel' at Haverfordwest castle face a potential spanner in the works after the Town Council agreed to place a bid for the landmark site.
At a special full Haverfordwest Town Council meeting on Wednesday, January 9th, councillors unanimously voted in favour of offering Pembrokeshire County Council £50,000 in a bid to 'save the town's heritage for the public.'
Cllr Peter Lewis proposed that the town council make the substantial offer in response to the original for sale advert in 2011 which related to the former prison building and adjoining car park at the castle site.
He said that as there had been no further information regarding a proposal by a developer to offer a capital payment and then lease the old prison, former governor's house and land within the castle as a site for a luxury hotel and restaurant, it is assumed that no final decision had been made.
Cllr Lewis asked councillors if they agreed that they offered to buy the buildings, subject to a satisfactory survey report and, despite an initial amendment that further information be gathered, all members agreed that the bid be made.
His proposal continued: "That it informs the County Council, that should this bid be successful the Town Council will seek to initiate the formation of a local group with the intention of developing the building for community use."
Councillors would also withdraw an application for Village Green status if successful and ask that money from the sale be directed towards the maintenance of Haverfordwest's heritage.
Advantages cited by Cllr Lewis include: "The unhealthy veil of secrecy will be dispensed with, there will be no need to relocate the museum, the buildings and surrounding ground will remain in public ownership and the relocation of Council Offices can be seriously considered."
A formal offer was sent to County Hall following the meeting.