MORE than 700 people have signed a petition saying no to the development of a Premier Inn in Britain’s smallest city.
Plans for the 63 bedroom hotel are included in the St Davids Glasfryn Road development, the first stage of which includes 70 new homes, with 40 available to local families to buy or rent affordably.
The second stage of the development includes a swimming pool to replace the one closed by Pembrokeshire County Council in 2007.
The developers say the proposed hotel would “add to the town’s economy by increasing visitor accommodation choice and creating approximately 20 new, year round jobs”.
Suzanne Ellison from St Davids has set up the petition - addressed to the St Davids Community Land Trust - on the website change.org.
She started the petition on behalf of the NOPi (No to Premier Inn St. Davids) group on Facebook.
The group represents local businesses and B&Bs, who are worried the development could impact on their livelihoods.
“Premier Inn is not contributing financially to the construction of the social housing or swimming pool in St David's,” reads the petition.
“The land being sold to Premier Inn is privately owned by someone outside of Pembrokeshire.
"None of the funds raised will go towards the housing, swimming pool, or back into the community.”
It says the land on which Premier Inn proposes to build was earmarked just for housing in the Local Development Plan which states the city has “adequate” hotel and guest house accommodation to serve the need of visitors”.
“Premier Inn won't support local businesses, it will undermine them,” says the petition.
“This development could potentially pave the way for more big chains within our beautiful city, destroying independently run businesses and threatening our cultural identity.”
Suzanne told the Western Telegraph that paper copies of the petition, which have already amassed more than 600 signatures, are also available throughout St Davids.
Nick Johnston, Acquisition Manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants said: “The proposed lay out separates the hotel from the new homes and places the customer car parking spaces away from view. We have also broken up the elevations of the hotel building to ensure it suits its surroundings. It is a strong proposal and we’re looking forward to discussing it with visitors to the public exhibition.”
A public exhibition on the development will take place at Oriel y Parc on Friday, May 19, between 2pm and 7pm and Saturday, May 20, between 10am and 2.30pm.
Representatives from the joint applicants, Premier Inn and the technical team will be at the public exhibition to discuss the plans and say all the points in the petition will be covered in the exhibition.
There is also an online feedback process available at glasfrynroadplans.co.uk.