AS a resident of St Davids, I don’t believe that Premier Inn will add any economic, social, or cultural value to our city. Further, its involvement in the community housing scheme seems self-serving at best and undermining at worst.

Specifically: 1. The land proposed for the hotel has been designated in the Local Plan for housing.

The plan (which I fully support) specifically states that hotel and guest house accommodation is adequate to serve the needs of visitors and Premier Inn’s potential presence on Glasfryn Road reduces the amount of land available for its stated purpose.

2. The variable (i.e. giveawayto- low price) pricing strategy operated by the chain, particularly during the five-plus (out-of-season) months per year, will undermine and probably wipe out local providers, who both generate and recycle business locally – something of little interest to a multinational corporation.

3. Local businesses already find it very difficult to recruit customer-facing and support staff and the expectation is that Premier Inn, whose terms of employment will be very similar to those offered by local businesses, will have to recruit staff from outside the area.

4. The development of a 63- bed hotel by the UK’s largest hotel brand in UK’s smallest city with a population of approximately 1,600 people will irrevocably change the character of St Davids. In comparison, Premier Inns’ Aberystwyth branch has 64 rooms in a town with a population of approximately 13,000 people and Tenby has a 64-bed Premier Inn in a town with a population of approximately 5,000 people.

5. While the hotel will have some of the best views across the peninsula, will its overall design, to say nothing of its car park (no doubt brightly lit at night) and its capacity to accommodate large stag and hen parties, add anything to St Davids as an attractive historic centre...?

6. As far as the partnership between Premier Inn and the St Davids Peninsula Land Trust (CLT) is concerned: a. Premier Inn will not, as previously offered, contribute 50 per cent of the total planning costs (hotel and housing), rather it will share the costs incurred consulting the necessary specialists....

These costs, no doubt, include the letters prepared by its Cardiff-based planning consultants, printed on 200 gram paper, delivered by first class mail, giving merely one week’s notice about the developers’ exhibition to occupiers living in St Davids.

b. Premier Inn is not going to allow access across its land for housing construction, so new access arrangements will be need to be commissioned and funded.

c. what happened to the possibilities, discussed as recently as a year ago by the CLT, that all the money needed to take the housing project forward could be provided by the Charities Aid Foundation and the Charities Bank and why did the CLT decide, on the community’s behalf to make itself dependent on an organisation whose hotel development application is in fact dependent on the CLT?

Finally, I object to the opaque information-sharing and decision-taking processes, which are not clarified either by the published statement from our elected representative.

Subject to planning permission, which remains a big hurdle for them, Premier Inn are coming anyway, or by Pembrokeshire County Council’s apparent acceptance, as expressed in its commentary to current changes to education provision in St Davids, that the housing development on Glasfryn Road is a done deal. While this may be fine, does the done deal extend to Premier Inn?

Against this background, I urge readers to sign the electronic petition ( trust-no-to-premier-innin- st-david-s-pembrokeshire), or the paper petition available around St Davids and if you can, attend the exhibition on Friday, May 19, 2pm- 7pm and Saturday, May 20, 10am-2.30pm at Oriel Y Parc, share your views and then continue to be actively engaged in whatever follows.


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