Bid to transform Tenby's St Catherine's Island recommended for refusal

An ambitious scheme for the 'Disneyfication' of one of Pembrokeshire's most prominent landmarks looks set to be knocked on the head by National Park planners.

Proposals to change the use of the historic fort on Tenby's St Catherine's Island to a visitor attraction are being recommended for refusal next Wednesday (July 17th).

The controversial application, by Peter Prosser, is seeking to create gift, food and drink retail in the Grade II listed fort, which dates back to Napoleonic times;altering its generator house to a ticket and retail facility; building a private/security residence; installing boat landings, two cranes, CCTV, cliff nature walk, lighting and signage.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park's authority's development management committe is due to consider an 80-page report on the plan, where the refusal recommendation has four key points.

Officers say:

*the application has been submitted with 'ambiguous, insufficient and contradictory information', meaning that the impact on the proposal of the special qualities of aspects including the National Park, the Tenby Conservation Area and protected species cannot be ascertained;

*the scheme proposes an 'unacceptable' level of lighting *there has not been enough justification of the essential use of the proposed new dwelling *the proposed solar panels, roof-top shops and new dwelling are harmful to the special qualities of the National Park.

Concern and opposition to the plan has been voiced by organisations including Tenby Town Council, CADW, The Victorian Society and the Council for British Archaeology, with a petition from the Lexden Terrace Conservation Group, whose buildings overlook the island.

Tenby Civic Society claim that the proposal results in the 'Disneyfication' of the island that would spoil the beauty of Tenby and the establishment of a high-volume tourist attraction would 'irrevocably affect' the nature of the island with the mainland'.

The society also queried where the funding for the project would come from, and added that the absence in the application of a bridge connecting it with the mainland was providing an misleading impact about the proposal.

The necessary health and safety measures to allow access onto the island would result in the loss of its character and charm, while noise and light pollution would harm the amenities of neighbouring properties and the character of the town.

"Tenby does not need another cheap tourist attraction or cafe," the society added.

Comments (11)

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5:03pm Mon 8 Jul 13

PDBlue says...

Well there's a shock!

It amaizes me that Tenby would rather have this Island fall into a dangerous ruin than actually increase Tourism. I thought PCC were mad, but this lot???

You might have even had something that actually open's out of season, rather than closing!
Well there's a shock! It amaizes me that Tenby would rather have this Island fall into a dangerous ruin than actually increase Tourism. I thought PCC were mad, but this lot??? You might have even had something that actually open's out of season, rather than closing! PDBlue
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Mon 8 Jul 13

malcolm calver says...

Whist I have not seen the plans I cannot understand the statement by the so called Tenby Civic Society that the establishment of a high level tourist attraction would `irrevocably affect the nature of the island with the mainland`
They also queried where the funding for the project would come from, but that surely this is none of their business,
I would suggest that the Pembrokeshire tourism industry desperately needs every attraction in can and one wonders who these people are on this so called Tenby Civic Society as obviously earn their living from the tourism industry.

It would be nice if we all had a lovely pensionable position in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Whist I have not seen the plans I cannot understand the statement by the so called Tenby Civic Society that the establishment of a high level tourist attraction would `irrevocably affect the nature of the island with the mainland` They also queried where the funding for the project would come from, but that surely this is none of their business, I would suggest that the Pembrokeshire tourism industry desperately needs every attraction in can and one wonders who these people are on this so called Tenby Civic Society as obviously earn their living from the tourism industry. It would be nice if we all had a lovely pensionable position in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority malcolm calver
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Mon 8 Jul 13

Cymru bach says...

How does Tenby Civic society know what Tenby wants?
Have they conducted a survey of all residents?
How do they know that the attraction proposed is going to be 'cheap'? Is it not normal practise for tourist attractions to offer cafe or refreshment facilities?
Is it right that some members of Tenby civic Society's Committee are residents that overlook the island?
Is it normal practise for the society to question where the money is coming from? ( this is the first time I have heard them or anyone else make such a comment, as to wether planning permission should be given or not).

I am amazed that the Tenby civic society comment on this but apparently failed to make any comment on the suitability of a ladbrokes betting shop in the core retail area?

I have not seen the plans, and look forward to seeing them but I do wonder if Tenby Civic society look at ALL applications fairly and objectively without prejudice and personal motivations?

Development of the island is badly needed, and sensational comments do not help? They only serve to inflate the egos of those that make them.
How does Tenby Civic society know what Tenby wants? Have they conducted a survey of all residents? How do they know that the attraction proposed is going to be 'cheap'? Is it not normal practise for tourist attractions to offer cafe or refreshment facilities? Is it right that some members of Tenby civic Society's Committee are residents that overlook the island? Is it normal practise for the society to question where the money is coming from? ( this is the first time I have heard them or anyone else make such a comment, as to wether planning permission should be given or not). I am amazed that the Tenby civic society comment on this but apparently failed to make any comment on the suitability of a ladbrokes betting shop in the core retail area? I have not seen the plans, and look forward to seeing them but I do wonder if Tenby Civic society look at ALL applications fairly and objectively without prejudice and personal motivations? Development of the island is badly needed, and sensational comments do not help? They only serve to inflate the egos of those that make them. Cymru bach
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Mon 8 Jul 13

Cymru bach says...

When developed it is hard to see that an attraction on St Catherine's Island would attract any more visitors than currently go to Caldey Island or Tenby Museum.

Have the day trips to Caldey or the visitors that go up Castle Hill to the Museum 'irrevocably affected' those areas?
When developed it is hard to see that an attraction on St Catherine's Island would attract any more visitors than currently go to Caldey Island or Tenby Museum. Have the day trips to Caldey or the visitors that go up Castle Hill to the Museum 'irrevocably affected' those areas? Cymru bach
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Mon 8 Jul 13

John759 says...

It’s a shame such logic wasn’t applied when prostituting the future of south Beach with the Waterfront Development!

Seems to be four pretty poor excuses worded in complete nonsense. In short, why not simply say! As a planning committee we lack the ability to find out the detail we need to give the proposal the correct level of scrutiny.

Issues I wish to hear about are... Educational value, medium to long term conservation policy Mr. Prosser is proposing, added value in tourism and what positive impact the project will have on the local economy and community but to mention a few.

In my view, The Planning Committee have a duty of care and responsibility to the general public to examine the project correctly, provide straight forward and coherent answers to meaningful questions. This latest statement reads as “We simply don’t understand the project”. I have long questioned any confidence in this process as do a very large number of people locally.

I would urge the committee to get their act together, start doing the job they are supposed to be doing on behalf of the authorities that placed them there. Examine the full scope of the project, explore all possibilities and work with people on all sides to come up with plausible solutions that enhance and increase Tenby’s appeal.

If you can’t achieve that as a minimum standard what are each you doing there?
It’s a shame such logic wasn’t applied when prostituting the future of south Beach with the Waterfront Development! Seems to be four pretty poor excuses worded in complete nonsense. In short, why not simply say! As a planning committee we lack the ability to find out the detail we need to give the proposal the correct level of scrutiny. Issues I wish to hear about are... Educational value, medium to long term conservation policy Mr. Prosser is proposing, added value in tourism and what positive impact the project will have on the local economy and community but to mention a few. In my view, The Planning Committee have a duty of care and responsibility to the general public to examine the project correctly, provide straight forward and coherent answers to meaningful questions. This latest statement reads as “We simply don’t understand the project”. I have long questioned any confidence in this process as do a very large number of people locally. I would urge the committee to get their act together, start doing the job they are supposed to be doing on behalf of the authorities that placed them there. Examine the full scope of the project, explore all possibilities and work with people on all sides to come up with plausible solutions that enhance and increase Tenby’s appeal. If you can’t achieve that as a minimum standard what are each you doing there? John759
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Mon 8 Jul 13

malcolm calver says...

I attended the last meeting of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park committee when members were informed that a planned site meeting to the island had to be abandoned, as a risk assessment had been carried out and it was felt that it would be danger for members to go on to the island.I wonder if these delicate creatures had been since the last planning meeting.
I attended the last meeting of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park committee when members were informed that a planned site meeting to the island had to be abandoned, as a risk assessment had been carried out and it was felt that it would be danger for members to go on to the island.I wonder if these delicate creatures had been since the last planning meeting. malcolm calver
  • Score: 0

9:38am Tue 9 Jul 13

PembsBoy says...

Having been a Tenby resident all my life I think I'm well qualified to say that the Civic Society in no way represent the views of Tenby's residents.

Having spoken to various other residents over the past few week on this subject, all I can say is that the general consensus is that the Civic Society are a bunch of 60-somethings with nothing better to do than to moan about change in Tenby.

You only need to take a look at their website to see how out of date they are!
Having been a Tenby resident all my life I think I'm well qualified to say that the Civic Society in no way represent the views of Tenby's residents. Having spoken to various other residents over the past few week on this subject, all I can say is that the general consensus is that the Civic Society are a bunch of 60-somethings with nothing better to do than to moan about change in Tenby. You only need to take a look at their website to see how out of date they are! PembsBoy
  • Score: 0

10:49am Tue 9 Jul 13

mcsparrow_98 says...

1.) Can anyone here tell me where/what Tenby's "Cheap Tourist Attractions" are?

2.) "Noise pollution would harm the amenities of neighbouring properties." - This is really scraping the barrell for any drop of negativity.... and in fact is pathetic. Any noise from the uninhabited island, laying 250 meters from the nearest neighbouring property would simply be drowned out by the noise of thousands of holiday makers on the beach, in the town, or wherever they may be.

It makes my blood boil to think that this fistful of single minded people are champing at the bit to stop an exciting project like this....but then in the same breath couldnt care less about other properties in the town (we all know which ones) that are literally crumbling around us.
1.) Can anyone here tell me where/what Tenby's "Cheap Tourist Attractions" are? 2.) "Noise pollution would harm the amenities of neighbouring properties." - This is really scraping the barrell for any drop of negativity.... and in fact is pathetic. Any noise from the uninhabited island, laying 250 meters from the nearest neighbouring property would simply be drowned out by the noise of thousands of holiday makers on the beach, in the town, or wherever they may be. It makes my blood boil to think that this fistful of single minded people are champing at the bit to stop an exciting project like this....but then in the same breath couldnt care less about other properties in the town (we all know which ones) that are literally crumbling around us. mcsparrow_98
  • Score: 0

10:58am Tue 9 Jul 13

PembsBoy says...

@mcsparrow_98

So true mate, so true!!
@mcsparrow_98 So true mate, so true!! PembsBoy
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Tue 9 Jul 13

John759 says...

Lest we forget in the heat of the moment! How does the press (bless its cotton sock’s) get wind of the committee’s intentions prior to the correct representation being made at the actual meeting? Have we arrived at a point whereby a planning committee refuses an application based on opinion rather than fact, and choose to ditch an application prior to the actual meeting taking place, publicise the fact through local press and then let the applicant know at the meeting?

I appreciate that there are many hours of telephone conversations with duly noted comments and substantial liaison between authorities, organisations and governing bodies however, publicising the proposed outcome of meeting prior to it actually taking place demonstrates the lack of professionalism being adopted.

The committee should step up to the box, make clear, precise and understandable statements that are relevant only to the application process. They should be fully accountable, provide supporting evidence to back their claims and demonstrate transparency in the decision making process.

The basis of this application is to take an outdated building that has fallen into state of disrepair, rebuild and make good the original structure in a sympathetic fashion and give the island a new lease of life. In my view this is not about “point scoring at the expense of the other party” it is a serious well prepared and planned application that deserves formal and correct consideration.

The fact of the matter is that the island has been in a state of disrepair for longer than half the people objecting to the project have lived in Tenby. There has been no effort by any authority to protect and maintain the island and there are no queues of people waiting to submit further plans.

Tenby’s tourist industry has been in a state of decline for at least 40 years, gone are the days of the Tenby Queen, Viking Saka and Enterprise who spent the summer season running visitors around Caldey, queues to get to Caldey stretching up past Morris Brothers with a pool of 15 odd Caldey boats (Now 9) and the mackerel fishing boat pool being run off their feet. Today we see one boat instead of three running around the island, 9 Caldey Boats not 15 and a “dog eat dog” group of individual mackerel and fishing boats out bidding each other at the top of the pier. Inconsistent and erratic planning has contributed to this demise of the town and it’s time to take responsibility.

I would appeal to the more level headed members of the committee who can see past the red tape, bureaucracy and apathy and ask them to support the project, not because I ask but, because it’s right to improve the prosperity of the town and provide education and work for the younger generations that will follow. The island has the opportunity to become a jewel in Tenby’s crown and attract additional visitors to the area much like that of folly farm, the museum, Tudor house and many more. In comparison what’s on offer? Further deterioration, health & safety issues and additional cost.

In my view the objections carry little substance apart from objecting to change and we all know where that leaves people!
Lest we forget in the heat of the moment! How does the press (bless its cotton sock’s) get wind of the committee’s intentions prior to the correct representation being made at the actual meeting? Have we arrived at a point whereby a planning committee refuses an application based on opinion rather than fact, and choose to ditch an application prior to the actual meeting taking place, publicise the fact through local press and then let the applicant know at the meeting? I appreciate that there are many hours of telephone conversations with duly noted comments and substantial liaison between authorities, organisations and governing bodies however, publicising the proposed outcome of meeting prior to it actually taking place demonstrates the lack of professionalism being adopted. The committee should step up to the box, make clear, precise and understandable statements that are relevant only to the application process. They should be fully accountable, provide supporting evidence to back their claims and demonstrate transparency in the decision making process. The basis of this application is to take an outdated building that has fallen into state of disrepair, rebuild and make good the original structure in a sympathetic fashion and give the island a new lease of life. In my view this is not about “point scoring at the expense of the other party” it is a serious well prepared and planned application that deserves formal and correct consideration. The fact of the matter is that the island has been in a state of disrepair for longer than half the people objecting to the project have lived in Tenby. There has been no effort by any authority to protect and maintain the island and there are no queues of people waiting to submit further plans. Tenby’s tourist industry has been in a state of decline for at least 40 years, gone are the days of the Tenby Queen, Viking Saka and Enterprise who spent the summer season running visitors around Caldey, queues to get to Caldey stretching up past Morris Brothers with a pool of 15 odd Caldey boats (Now 9) and the mackerel fishing boat pool being run off their feet. Today we see one boat instead of three running around the island, 9 Caldey Boats not 15 and a “dog eat dog” group of individual mackerel and fishing boats out bidding each other at the top of the pier. Inconsistent and erratic planning has contributed to this demise of the town and it’s time to take responsibility. I would appeal to the more level headed members of the committee who can see past the red tape, bureaucracy and apathy and ask them to support the project, not because I ask but, because it’s right to improve the prosperity of the town and provide education and work for the younger generations that will follow. The island has the opportunity to become a jewel in Tenby’s crown and attract additional visitors to the area much like that of folly farm, the museum, Tudor house and many more. In comparison what’s on offer? Further deterioration, health & safety issues and additional cost. In my view the objections carry little substance apart from objecting to change and we all know where that leaves people! John759
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Wed 10 Jul 13

John759 says...

To offer any additional comments, views or suggestions follow the project on facebook https://www.facebook
.com/TenbyIsland
To offer any additional comments, views or suggestions follow the project on facebook https://www.facebook .com/TenbyIsland John759
  • Score: 0

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