HAVERFORDWEST is in danger of becoming a 'two-tier' town.

That's the view of members of a newly formed campaign to save a local car park in the centre of the town from being shut by the county council.

Members of the Dew Street Campaign are fighting against the loss of resident and public rights over the Dew Street car park which Pembrokeshire County Council announced it was selling.

The group say closure of the car park, which used to provide parking for the now abandoned County Library, will have a disastrous effect on volunteer's abilities to access local charities including Bucket Full of Hope and ‘The Cancer Support Venue’.

The first meeting of the group, which only formed on September 14, was held a week later on September 22 after campaigners canvassed the car park, handing out leaflets to local residents to inform them what was happening.

County Councillor for Castle Ward, Thomas Tudor, attended the meeting and said the car park is vital to the town.

“These car parks provide an important economic input," said Cllr Tudor.

"They are used by people visiting and working, to shop and carry out their daily commercial activities within the economic centre of Haverfordwest.

“Removing this facility will undoubtedly have a significant negative impact on the county town of Pembrokeshire, and after the impact that the Covid pandemic has had this must be something that is avoided at all costs.”

At the meeting, town councillor Edward Perkins, who is also a local business owner, said the town is in danger of getting split in two because of the plans.

“We risk losing our small, independent, quirky businesses in favour of generic big business,” said Cllr Perkins.

“I’m concerned that the sale of this land and closure of the car park will create a two-tier town centre as the council focus their resources on the Riverside area, leaving the Market Street, Dew Street, Barn Street etc. to degrade."

Resident and campaigner Mike Daffern, who helped set up the group said there has been a lot of support for their campaign.

Mr Daffern explained: “As a group started by local residents, we’ve organised this campaign to advocate for the rights of not only those living in Barn Street, Dew Street, and the surrounding streets, but also local businesses and the wider community, who also rely on the car park.

“We received a very positive response from people we spoke to while canvassing a few weeks ago, and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to speak to us and send their objection to the council - as a group we delivered 90 letters to the council, and we believe a lot more people wrote to them independently.”

Pembrokeshire County Council advised residents to seek legal advice over concerns about their rights and the sale of the car park.

Most recently the council seemed to be changing their tact saying the proposed revoking of the car park is being reviewed and will be considered by Cabinet.

The matter is provisionally planned to go to Cabinet in November.

The ‘Dew Street Campaign’ has grown from a small number of Barn Street neighbours to a wider number of concerned Haverfordwest community members.

They are now working to better understand the scale of those who will be affected by the car park closure, through a survey of local businesses.

Join them on Facebook ‘Dew Street Campaign’, here.

The primary aims of the Dew Street Campaign are:

The development of a joint plan between Pembrokeshire County Council and the purchaser of the land which balances public, local and private interests, and includes:

•A calculation to offset loss of parking in quantifying new parking requirements for site.

•Play sites for children.

•Community meeting and learning facilities for adolescents.

•Preservation of wooded areas and development of permeable and safe through ways.

They also want Pembrokeshire County Council to accept that:

•Residents and the public have a public right of way along the back of the houses of Barn Street, i.e. that it qualifies for highway status.

•Barn Street residents have established vehicular and pedestrian access from the rear of their properties to a recognised public and adopted road.