Plea to protect "threatened" castle site
11:10am Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
A historic site that has seen “horror as well as glory” in its grounds is under threat once more, and something must be done to protect it.
That was the message from three speakers, who addressed more than 100 people at a public meeting about Haverfordwest Castle last week.
The castle site has been earmarked as part of a boutique hotel complex, sparking concerns among many local people.
Local historian Mark Muller said that over the last few years, people have witnessed “appalling, inappropriate actions” in respect of anything that has “a whiff of heritage about it”.
He referred to the Portfield fairs, Foley House, and the Shire Hall, which today he said “remains locked and inaccessible”.
He said: “We have seen the destruction of beautiful, old, useful buildings with replacement structures inappropriately sited, that add to the town’s traffic problems or compromise its townscape.
“All decisions have been made in secret by the county council, with requests for information being stonewalled under the heading ‘business confidentiality’.”
“And what are we in danger of losing?” he added.
“Where you are standing now has been stood on by your ancestors, our ancestors, for 900 years. The ground your feet cover has been stood on by soldiers, earls and kings. There is horror here as well as glory.”
Town Councillor Sarah Llewellyn said that an application to register the castle grounds as a village green was lodged on July 11th.
“Faced with a poorly justified decision, and a general lack of transparency, we were left little alternative,” she said.
She added that a public inquiry will be the most likely outcome of the application, because the county council will effectively be both the registering authority and the identified landowner.
“It is a great shame that public money must be spent asserting a public right, which only now faces threat because of a series of ill thought-out decisions by our local authority,” she said.
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