A MULTI-MILLION pound investment in a proposed Pembrokeshire project has been written off after the company involved pulled out of marina plans.

Conygar Investment Company has decided to withdraw from the development at the Pembroke Dock marina site, and write off the £4.8 million it had invested in the project.

In a recently released report the company stated that the construction cost had more than doubled to £17 million from the original £8 million estimate, which meant the scheme was no longer viable.

CEO Robert Ware said: “We have sadly decided to withdraw from this project and write off our total investment of £4.8 million.

“Having commissioned a feasibility study, the results unfortunately concluded that the cost of constructing the marina would be considerably greater than our first investigation showed.”

The construction cost has increased mainly due to analysis of the seabed and the resulting lock structure and outer wall now required.

The company stated that while the land-based element of the scheme remained viable, it had been refused permission to separate the two elements and decided to withdraw its total investment as a result.

Mr Ware’s report added: “The land based element at Pembroke Dock had been progressed in tandem and that is viable. We have attracted a number of substantial retailers to the site and the scheme would improve the environment and create considerable employment.

“However, our contract with the client group, which consists of Pembrokeshire County Council, Milford Haven Port Authority, the Crown Estate and the Welsh Assembly Government, is dependent on the marina being built by 2022.”

Planning approval for a multi-million pound development at Pembroke Dock Waterfront was obtained in February 2008.

The whole site included approximately 41.5 acres with planning consent to create a 260 berth marina with marina and boat servicing facilities, hundreds of houses and apartments, a retail area, restaurant and pub facilities, cinema and hotel.

Local member, county councillor for the Market ward, Cllr Brian Hall, said there was a missed opportunity in not holding early talks with Conygar with a possible separation of the two elements, subject to a possible legal agreement, until the marina part was potentially more viable.

“It was an opportunity to increase the footfall of all the businesses in the town. Anything that generates more footfall in the centre of town is great,” said Cllr Hall.

“It’s a travesty that this could not have been sorted, and it could’ve been sorted by an emergency Cabinet meeting to give them an answer long before Christmas.

“It’s a retrograde step for Pembrokeshire County Council and a tragedy for the people of Pembroke Dock.

"The whole of the council is losing out in what could’ve been a benefit for the whole county.”

A spokesman for Conygar said the neighbouring Fishguard harbour marina development was “very much on track” despite the developments at Pembroke Dock.

The first phase of the Fishguard Harbour Marina project consists of the construction of two new breakwaters, revetments and an eight hectare reclamation platform, 1.4 hectares of which would be allocated for the future port development works and the remainder for the residential and marina related development.

The first phase of the development would also include a public slipway, a boat hoist and a service quay for local fishing boats.

In addition, the proposed development will include the construction of a marina basin to accommodate 345 berths and an approach channel to provide all tide access.

“The detailed planning (First Reserved Matters) and marine licence applications, necessary to facilitate the development platform, marina basin and port expansion area, were submitted in January this year.

“In November 2016, the Phasing Plan for the marina and residential development was approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee and we envisage that the First Reserved Matters application will be considered early in the New Year. In terms of the marine licence, all the necessary information has been provided to Natural Resources Wales and we are awaiting release of the formal consent.

“Working in association with Stena Line, we have prepared a draft Harbour Revision Order and this should be submitted to the Marine Management Organisation early in the new year.

“Once this order has been processed and formalised, we will have successfully negotiated all of the statutory consenting processes necessary to commence construction of the project. Once the enabling infrastructure works are under way, we will be turning our attention to the detailed design and subsequent Reserved Matters applications for all the residential development and buildings relating to the operation of the commercial marina.”