11:46am Thursday 10th October 2013
AT THE risk of repeating myself, could I correct the misapprehensions that some of your readers on Facebook seem to be labouring under with regard to the new Debenhams store on the Withybush Retail Park in Haverfordwest.
l The retail park is privately owned and consent for it was granted by the former Preseli Pembrokeshire District Council. Pembrokeshire County Council did not “grant permission” directly for Debenhams. The units at the park already held permission for certain retail use which enabled Debenhams to move in.
l Pembrokeshire taxpayers are not paying for the free bus link. This is funded by the retail park owners.
l The council does not have the power to “move businesses”
around on the retail park.
It cannot force businesses into certain buildings.
From purely an environmental point of view why would anyone want to drive to Carmarthen instead - as one of the posters on Facebook suggested - just because there isn’t a parking space immediately available. Another proclaimed “Haverfordwest is dead.”
If people want to drive away investment, they are certainly going the right way about it with comments like that.
We should be applauding the arrival of a “big name”
store in the county. It shows they have confidence in Pembrokeshire’s future.
I acknowledge there are issues relating to parking at the retail park. That is why the council has been in discussion with the commercial sector – that is the park owners and Debenhams - to try and resolve the problem without incurring expense to the taxpayer.
At the end of the day though, I make no apology for saying that it is good news that Debenhams are here.
COUNCILLOR ROB LEWIS
Deputy leader and cabinet member for highways and planning
Pembrokeshire County Council
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