Developer reviews castle hotel plan
1:30pm Saturday 26th January 2013 in News
Plans to build a boutique hotel at Haverfordwest Castle have hit another wall this week after developer Keith Griffiths announced his intention to withdraw his bid, the Western Telegraph can reveal.
The Griffiths-Roch Historical Building Foundation chairman said that the agreement for Mr Griffiths to lease the castle grounds, including the former prison building, had not been accepted by Pembrokeshire County Council.
This follows Haverfordwest Town Council’s formal offer of £50,000 to buy the castle site “with the intention of developing the building for community use”.
Mr Griffiths said: “I applaud this proposal to acquire this unused site and its important listed buildings for the use of the people of Haverfordwest.
“I look forward to the council’s plans and timeline to restore the large gaol building to a suitable use for the town and to their proposals to generate activity for public use of the castle grounds.”
He added: “Rehabilitation of disused historic buildings to new and worthwhile uses is an important, costly and difficult enterprise and I wish the council every success in this very important venture.”
Haverfordwest town councillor Roy Thomas said he hoped that this would put the town council in a stronger position to acquire the castle grounds.
But he said the town council was still awaiting a response from Pembrokeshire County Council.
Haverfordwest Civic Society chairman Robin Sheldrake said: “We are immensely encouraged by the news. It’s so good to have Haverfordwest Town Council involved in a meaningful way in the future of Haverfordwest.
The Civic Society is certainly in support of the continuation of public ownership of the castle site.”
Historian Mark Muller added: “The application for village green status is continuing to go ahead to safeguard the site for the future, in addition to the town council’s bid.
“It would be fantastic to have that building back in the hands of public ownership.
There are so many possibilities as to what it could be used for, like promoting artists or as an extension to the museum.”
Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman Len Mullins confirmed that the county council had received the offer from Haverfordwest Town Council.
He added: “Progress on the regeneration scheme for Haverfordwest Castle has been delayed due to the application for village green status for the site.
This unfortunately is a lengthy process which is still ongoing.”