WILL the public be consulted as Haverfordwest enters one of its biggest phases of development in recent times?

At a town council meeting on February 23 councillors received a presentation from charter town planner Keith Thomas, of Per Consulting Ltd, on Pembrokeshire Towns Placemaking Plans, which is integrated with the UK Government’s Levelling Up scheme.

But, within all the talk of ideas for town development, one of the most pertinent things the town council wanted to see was consultation with the public.

Cllr Moses asked Mr Thomas to try and get some form of public engagement off the ground.

“Please can we have some element of consultation with committee stake holders at this stage,” asked Cllr Moses.

Mr Thomas said there was no remit at the moment to consult the public on plans for Haverfordwest.

“Our brief is not to take it to public consultation,” said Mr Thomas.

“This is partly down to timescale and partly because this is just a framework, so it is very difficult to go out and ask the public when we have not yet got the funding in place.

“We are not briefed to have detailed consultation.”

Cllr Moses went on to say consultation should be offered particularly to young people who will live in the town for years to come.

“I think we should be involving people in the early stages to gather their ideas and suggestions (and) I think it is absolutely critical young people are involved in this discussion because it is going to be their town one day,” Cllr Moses added.

Cllr Moses’ views were supported by nearly all his fellow councillors and county councillor Alison Tudor, who also attended the meeting. She questioned PCC’s transparency.

“I think we need to do some more community engagement,” said Cllr Tudor. “I am not sure how open PCC are with the information they are giving.”

READ MORE: £21m Pembrokeshire 'levelling up fund' investment welcomed

“Please can we have some element of consultation with committee stake holders at this stage”

The presentation covered themes and approaches to developing Haverfordwest, with tasks including:

  • Targeting buildings at risk
  • Improving appearances of properties
  • Identifying problem streets and where critical locations need development
  • Enhancing digital footprint of the town

Advice given to Mr Thomas by the town council included concerns over the High Street and traffic, pedestrianising the centre of Haverfordwest, greening the town and concern over derelict buildings.

Mr Thomas said nothing was secret and that the public could be informed through the relative channels.

“You as councillors can engage with your constituents. The information is not secret," said Mr Thomas.

"But we do not have the capacity for large scale engagement.”

Should the public be consoltated on the future of Haverfordwest development plans? Let us know in the comments below or send a message to the Western Telegraph Facebook page.