PLANS have been approved for a new civic amenity and recycling centre to serve south-east Pembrokeshire.

All but one member of the county council’s planning committee voted in favour of the proposal to be built on land off Devonshire Drive, near Crane Cross, Saundersfoot.

Despite fears about traffic management, the application was recommended for approval, subject to 18 conditions.

They include hours of operation of the facility, control over lighting and floodlighting, a scheme for improved signage, protection of hedgerows and breeding birds and commencement within five years.

Last year, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority turned down the council's plans for its preferreed site a short distance away, alongside the A478 road and next door to Brooklands Nursing Home. The rejection followed a year-long campaign by the home and its supporters against the use of the site.

The layout of the approved development - to be known as the Crane Cross Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre - would be based on the award-winning civic amenity site at Waterloo, Pembroke Dock, with the design sympathetic to the agricultural environment of the area.

It is proposed that the site - which will replace the Salterns site in Tenby - be open to the public from 8am to 6pm every day from April 1 to September 30, and from 8am to 4pm between October 1 and March 31.

The Head of Highways and Construction recommends traffic calming along the A478, which is likely to include extending the local 50mph speed limit and improve the signage at the junction with Devonshire Drive at Crane Cross.

A request for traffic lights was also received, but officers said it is not justified by the volume of traffic generated by the development.

Ten letters of objection have been received in response to the application. The main grounds of objection were an increase in traffic, the impact the development would have on the character and visual amenity of the area, the high pressure gas main nearby and the devaluation of local properties.

Speaking on behalf of the objectors at the meeting last week, Councillor David Pugh said: “The main area of concern is traffic management.

“There is limited vision at the Crane Cross junction and I have no doubt that it is an accident waiting to happen. The only solution is the installation of traffic lights, like at Broadmoor.”

Cllr Brian Hall said: “The development will help in reducing what’s sent to landfill.

“It is essential that we approve it today as funding will not be given on July 1 unless we have approval for a site.”

Cllr Jacob Williams then engaged in a lengthy dispute with the head of planning Hywel Wyn Jones about imposing a condition about preventing the site being turned into a waste transfer station.

It led to him becoming the only councillor not to vote in favour of the recommendation for approval.