A MOTION calling for Pembroke Town council to purchase Pembroke Mill Pond “in principle” was passed after a lengthy debate last week.

The motion was jointly presented by Councillor Dennis Evans and Cllr Mel Phillips to the town council on Thursday, September 5.

An action group was set up last year to develop a plan to fight the growing issue of reeds, algae and silt in the pond.

Cllr Evans said the council received complaints daily about the Pond.

Cllr Phillips added if the town council did nothing, she thought there would be no Mill Pond in a few years because it was filling up with silt.

Discussing the motion, Cllr Evans said he could see four options for the pond.

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“We could do nothing,” he said. “The pond doesn’t belong to us, we could just say carry on, all the complaints that we get we could just direct to the Crown Estates.

“I don’t think the residents of Pembroke would be too happy with that.”

The second option was for the council to lease the pond from the Crown Estates (CE), which would cost the council £200-300 per year.

“I’m not sure what that would give us, we would still have to negotiate with all these groups. I can’t really see a benefit,” Cllr Evans added.

The third option was to purchase the Mill Pond, with Cllr Evans saying the CE seemed quite desperate to get rid of it, offering it for £1,000.

Several concerns were raised about purchasing the pond, including the cost for residents and Japanese knotweed in the top pond – which would be included in the sale.

Cllr Collins who was against the purchase said: “I will vote against us owning it because of the sheer unknown cost. It requires dredging, the cost of dredging is fantastic.

“I’m afraid of the cost for this town, the people of this town will have to pay whatever we commit them to by buying this pond.”

The fourth option was to ask the CE to return the pond to a tidal state.

Cllr Nutting said the council owed it to the town to take over the pond.

“If we ignore it, that pond will go from bad to worse,” he said.

“In 10 years’ time, there will be very little surface water that you will be able to see from the banks.”

Cllr Jon Harvey queried whether taking over the pond would give them control and allow them to return the pond to tidal.

The council agreed that they would investigate purchasing the pond “in principle,” but would withdraw if it became clear it was not viable.

In a separate vote, the council also agreed that the pond should be returned to tidal.