3:40pm Wednesday 25th April 2012
Haverfordwest Town Council is to seek to register land at the town's iconic castle as a village green - potentially scuppering controversial plans to build a boutique hotel on the site.
Councillors voted unanimously at last week’s full town council to pursue the idea, which was put forward by Haverfordwest Civic Society’s Lesley Turner.
Cllr Peter Lewis said: "There will be those that will suggest that such a move is just a ploy used to thwart the county council’s strategy.To a certain extent this would be true.
"However, those thinking a little more deeply, will understand us when we say that we always considered this land to be open for people and are now forced into such an action in order to see that it continues to be available for generations to come."
Cllr Lewis said that the county council’s reasons for selling the castle were "remarkably thin", and it appeared to be hoping that "good men will continue to stand by and do nothing".
Councillors agreed to pursue Open Space Society membership, as well as help from the Village Green Society.
Cllr Lewis added: "More importantly, we need the support of those good men and women who are not willing to stand by and do nothing."
Local historian Mark Muller, who spoke after the meeting, said that access to the castle and its surrounding area would be seriously impeded if plans to build a boutique hotel on the site went ahead.
He added: "Not to mention the loss of the county town’s most enduring icon.
"Cromwell tried such a thing in 1648 and failed due to the inadequacies of the local authority of that time. The inadequacies this time are to the people it is supposed to serve, and will be talked about for the same amount of time."
Mr Muller said that for the plan to succeed, it must be demonstrated that the site has been used for community and recreational purposes over the last 20 to 40 years.
He appealed for members of the public to send signed statements to that effect, to Haverfordwest Town Council.
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