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NATIONAL park members are to visit the site of a proposed new adventure tourism hub in north Pembrokeshire, which has sparked fears of a ‘bias’ for planners.

In an application before the June 5 meeting of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s development management committee, Jet Moore, managing director of Adventure Beyond Ltd, sought permission for an outdoor adventure centre, with art studio and storage space above, and associated works at The Old Bus Depot, Moylegrove.

The plot was originally used as a bus depot by the founder of the Richards Bros bus company.

Concern have been raised about the scheme, including local community council Nevern, and opponents fear that increased business for adventure firms will worsen the plight of birds and animals, some of which are on the UK’s amber conservation list.

In a supporting statement for the scheme, Jet Moore, managing director of coasteering, kayaking and field studies outdoor activities provider Adventure Beyond Ltd, says a site previously used for equipment and vehicles necessary for activities at Ceibwr Bay and surrounds may soon be unavailable, with “the Old Bus Depot site is the only suitable commercial site for us to transfer our operations to”.

The applicant said there has been “much positive feedback” to the scheme, but adds: “However, I am also aware that, sadly, a small but vocal group has taken against the development. I am not sure exactly what the objections are, all that has been communicated to me is that they are against ‘over-tourism’ at Ceibwr.”

He concluded: “This development has been part funded by a Shared Prosperity Fund Grant allocated by Pembrokeshire County Council. The grant must be spent by the end of 2024, or the funds are lost and will be retained by central government. Consequently, time is of the essence, and if planning permission is denied there is no time for an appeal and to construct the building before the end of 2024.

“Because of this the owner of the site, Consulting AM Ltd, has advised me that if planning permission is refused it will give the site to Pembrokeshire County Council, who paid for its acquisition through the grant.

“Assuming the council to be short of funds the site will then remain strewn with glass, metal and plastic and there will be no new replanting. The council may decide to fence it off to reduce its public liability risk, making the site an eyesore.”

Committee members were recommended to agree to a site visit prior to formal consideration at a later national park planning meeting, with members hearing amended plans had now been submitted.

Members were also told there had been a number of objections relating to the scheme with “a perception of bias” in relation to the grant, the committee having many county councillors as members.

Members were told the grant itself was not a material consideration in planning.

Members agreed to a site visit, with the scheme returning to a future meeting.

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