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.
*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.