AMBITIOUS plans, which could see Milford Haven docks transformed into a contemporary leisure ‘destination’ with 120 new homes, went on display on Thursday (March 27).

Local people were invited to take a closer look at the Port of Milford Haven’s new ‘master plan’ which, if granted planning permission, would see the area undergo a radical transformation and create up to 500 new jobs.

New homes, shops and restaurant units, and the potential for a modern multi-screen cinema, would complement more room for local businesses, the option of local boat trips, and improved facilities for berth holders.

Jeff Teague, estates director for the Port, said the development would herald a “new era” for the town.

“The whole of this town grew around the docks,” he said. “The question is what can they now do for town?”

At the centre of the plans, new headquarters would showcase the Port’s work, and help locals and visitors alike understand more about Milford’s role in energy production.

“It will help people understand how technology has helped fuel get from Quatar to their kitchen,” said Mr Teague.

He said the town’s museum would also have an important role to play in telling the ‘story of Milford Haven’, and that more would be done to promote the museum and to modernise it.

The five-year project would also include plans to create a new, faster lock to improve access for berth holders, and a footbridge to make it easier for people to walk between Hakin and the main town.

Mr Teague said that between 400 and 500 people had taken part in the two-year consultation, with locals responding best to the “general improvement in the offer and the fact someone is actually doing something for the town”.

Mayor of Milford Haven, Cllr Yvonne Southwell, said the Port’s plan looked “thoroughly researched” and she hopes it succeeds in being granted planning permission.

“I think it’s going to be a great enhancement for Milford Haven, and will bring in more tourists. It will be a much better use of the space, and beneficial for boat users and the local community,” she said.

Charles Street shop owner Lynn Turner said any investment in the town was a great idea, but she added that it was time the Port stopped ‘paying lip service’ to the idea of linking the docks with the town centre.

“We have to accept that the two areas are two separate sectors, and their target shoppers are quite different,” she said.

“It’s ridiculous to say Charles Street and the marina are a single retail area.”