Mixed messages on creamery site plan?
COUNCILLORS in Whitland have raised concerns over plans to redesignate part of a former creamery site for commercial use only under the local development plan.
They say the site's best chance of development is to keep it as it is — for mixed use, residential and commercial.
Carmarthenshire Council's consultation on the local development plan, which will be used to allocate land for housing and businesses for the next decade, closed on Friday.
County councillor Sue Allen raised concerns at Whitland Town Council last Monday.
She said: "This is quite important as the consultation ends on Friday.
"There seems to have be some amendments to the plan and they want comments on the amendments.
"Lots of people have put their own little amendments in and that's a private thing.
"The main thing I feel that matters to the town, is that at the moment the dairy site, known as Whitland Green Park, that's the company name, is down as mixed use which means it could be anything — housing swimming pool, car park, doctor's surgery, anything.
"What the proposal is from county is that its all commercial, meaning factories or whatever. There has been two feasibility studies done on the site and somebody spent a lot of money on those. All of the studies have been for mixed use.
"I feel the planning officers and departments have full control over what goes there anyway, so I just think it should be kept as it is as that gives us flexibility."
Councillors heard the creamery at the site closed in the 1990s and although some of it is being used, the bottom end remains vacant.
Chairman Neil Jenkins said: "It makes sense for it to be mixed. You are opening as many doors as possible for yourself then."
Councillor Randell agreed: "If its mixed use and somebody comes along and puts in application to build a big building and employ 40 people then mixed use, they will get it. But in the meantime, if it's been empty almost 20 years and someone comes along with the bottle to build 30 houses and they think they can sell them then great."
Councillor Allen said she would have concerns if it was allocated for housing only as well.
"This is a strategic thing for the town and to limit it for one purpose whatever it may be is wrong, if was all housing I would be just as concerned."
Councillors moved to write to Carmarthenshire Council asking for the former creamery site to be kept as mixed use.