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Pembrokeshire planners to take ‘more permissive approach’ to town centre planning applications

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Pembrokeshire County Council planners can now consider a wider variety of planning applications for town centres in Pembrokeshire, thanks to the publication of a new report. 

The report by the Council’s planning authority supports a more permissive approach towards the development of multi-functional and vibrant town centres.

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Speaking after Cabinet’s endorsement of the report today (Monday), Cllr Paul Miller, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, said: “I strongly believe that the quality of our town centres is important for the wider economic wellbeing of Pembrokeshire.

“However, there is no future in retail-only town centres. Instead, they need to become multi-functional places with a broader range of commercial uses (food and drink, office accommodation) as well as education, health, leisure and public services.

“In addition, they also need to be great places to live and we are committed to supporting the repurposing of vacant retail units to residential where it makes sense to do so.”

Known as the Interim Advisory Note on Development in Town Centres, the report is in line with updates in national planning policy and the publication of Future Wales – a 20-year national development plan produced by Welsh Government.

It means that in primary retail areas, a wider range of planning applications such as those linked to financial and professional uses, and food and drink establishments, are likely to be acceptable.

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In secondary retail areas, planning applications for new retail, education, health, leisure and public services are likely to be acceptable as well as residential uses on the ground floor where appropriate. Upper floor residential conversions are already likely to be supported across both primary and secondary retail areas.

Cllr Jon Harvey, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery, said the Interim Advisory Note would provide clear and transparent advice for both applicants and the authority when determining planning applications in town centres.

“We’re pleased to endorse its publication and looking forward to it supporting an exciting and different future for our town centres in Pembrokeshire,” he said.  

(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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