ST DAVIDS City Council voted to support divisive plans to site a Premier Inn at the entrance to Britain's smallest city at a packed meeting last week.

Around 100 people attended the meeting where councillors discussed the application for approximately 45 minutes.

In the weeks leading up to the meeting, on Monday, February 17, the council received more than 100 letters and e-mails from local residents voicing their views on the plans.

The city council discussed and voted on the three elements of the application separately; social housing, affordable housing and the hotel site.

The full application for the 63 bedroom Premier Inn hotel was supported by a majority of six councillors to two.

The council considered that, while the site had been designated as land for housing within the Local Development Plan, the creation of 22 full time equivalent employment opportunities in the hotel would help to sustain the local economy, and as such the proposal to commercially develop housing land was acceptable.

Councillor Emma Evans proposed an amendment to ask Premier Inn why they had chosen to build on this site rather than a different location. This was seconded by Mayor Bethan Price but was not carried by the council.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the full planning application for the 38 affordable rental properties, that will be available through Pembrokeshire Housing Association, saying that they would deliver a proportion of much needed affordable housing to the area.

They added that they would welcome some of the smaller properties being changed to larger family accommodation if there was a demand for it.

Councillors also unanimously agreed to support the outline application for 32 private houses for sale, built and marketed through Mill Bay Homes, a number of these will be offered as shared ownership properties, with the possibility of properties offered exclusively to local residents for a limited period of time.

All three elements of the development were supported on the condition that work to upgrade the sewage treatment works at Porthclais, costing £84,717, is undertaken before any development takes place.

The city council's views will now be forwarded to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to consider.

Members of NOPI (No to Premier Inn) said they were disappointed in the decision but it had made them determined that their arguments would be heard.

"We are working extremely hard, with the planning consultant we have appointed, to ensure that we make a full, robust, informed and evidence-based objection to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority by this week's March 1st deadline," said a spokesman.

"We are speaking up for the 75% of local residents and businesses who objected to the hotel in the recent pre-application consultation; the 5200 people who have signed the petition to protect this amazing and unique city and for all the small, family-run businesses and the local economy that will be devastated if this hotel is built."

Members of both YePi (Yes to Premier Inn) and NOPI are urging their supporters to write to the national park before the March 1st deadline.

"It was obvious from the discussions at the meeting that the councillors had taken onboard the points we made," said YePi.

"But that is only the start of the fight if this application is to go through. It is the national park who takes the decision on whether the application goes through."

Comments for or against the plans can be e-mailed to

or posted to: Ms Nicola Gandy, PCNPA, LlanionPark, Pembroke Dock, SA72 6DY, quoting the planning reference NP/18/0051/OUT.