FOLLOWING the public meeting held on June 1 you reported that “St Davids residents said a resounding no to the prospect of a Premier Inn in the city”.

However, the attendees were not representative of the local population. Why else did the majority of the randomly selected speakers declare a vested interest in not wanting competition from Premier Inn?

Clearly the ‘No to Premier Inn’ (NOPI) activists had rallied their troops to swamp the proceedings. This, along with NOPI’s refusal to allow Premier Inn to present their plans, made a travesty of the occasion.

The huge increase in tourism/ visitors in recent years has not been matched by an increase in hotel/b&b beds.

In any case, Premier Inn has a different customer base to that of local hotels/b&bs.

Yes, Premier Inn may take some trade from some of them but it will also bring new visitors to the area and extend the season, substantially benefiting other businesses.

It will bring year-round employment offering a career structure in hospitality that is sadly lacking at present.

There will be more winners than losers.

The St Davids Community Land Trust (CLT) board is not in cahoots with Premier Inn as some NOPI campaigners have suggested.

Pembrokeshire Housing Association is ready and waiting with plans and funding to build social housing on part of the land.

The CLT Board has well developed plans to build a mixture of open market homes and affordable and shared equity homes on another part of the land.

The profit from the sale of the former will provide initial funding for a new swimming pool close to Ysgol Dewi Sant.

The board has identified several finance options and Premier Inn is willing to fund the CLT’s share of the joint planning application and surveys required, which will cost upwards of £100,000.

The CLT Board has worked tirelessly with the aim of developing plans to meet the community’s housing needs and provide a contribution towards a new pool.

Its function has not been to campaign for these but come up with a viable plan.

NOPI organisers have vocalised support for the proposed housing development but have only vague ideas about how this might be achieved without Premier Inn involvement.

Should the joint application fail to proceed, for whatever reason, plans for affordable and social housing will, at best, be delayed several years or, at worst, fail completely.

I urge the residents of the St Davids peninsula to support the jplan. St Davids will be shooting itself in the foot if it fails to make the most of this opportunity.


St Davids