There is “unlikely to be any relaxation on planning” in Pembrokeshire’s Freeport area, councillors heard.

In late March 2023 it was announced that Pembrokeshire had been chosen as part of the site for one of Wales’ first freeports, with hopes it will share in the creation of 16,000 new jobs.

The Celtic Freeport will be shared between Milford Haven and Port Talbot, with a second Welsh freeport on Anglesey.

The Celtic Freeport bid was lodged on behalf of a public-private consortium, whose partners include Associated British Ports (ABP), Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven.

The freeport aims to attract significant investment, including £3.5bn in the hydrogen industry, as well as the creation of 16,000 jobs, generating £900m in Gross Value Added (GVA) by 2030, and £13bn by 2050.

The UK Government will provide up to £26m of starter funding for each of the freeports.

In a submitted question heard at the May 9 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, member of the public Helen Meopham had asked: “Are councillors aware of the extent of the proposed boundary of the Celtic Freeport, and, if so, could they provide me with a boundary map?

“I understand that PCC have a seat on the board of the Celtic Freeport. Considering the Freeport boundary may include residential areas and that planning and/or other regulations may be ‘relaxed’ in the Freeport area how will council avoid and resolve any conflict between Freeport interest and resident interests?”

Responding, Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Miller said the final boundary map was expected to be published later in the summer.

He added the Freeport boundary would not include any residential areas, and there was “unlikely to be any relaxation on planning”.