A group of campaigners have claimed that Llanelli is being ‘misled’ regarding a planning application for a two tier car park at Parc Howard. In an eight page document sent to the Welsh Assembly Government asking for the plans to be ‘called in’ the campaigners highlight what they claim are at best ‘dubious’ reasons for the council applying for the car park and at worse ‘complete disregard’ for the council’s own Local Development Plan (LDP) and National Planning Policy.

The latter considers the impact of numerous elements resulting from new developments including air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, sustainable development, discouraging car use, transport strategies, the protection of green landscape and of recreational space and facilities, the health and well being of the community and the preservation and enhancement of heritage sites. If that were not enough the campaigners suggest that the whole notion of the car park is purely to satisfy the needs of a yet to be established ‘commercial venture’ at the park.

The campaigners claim that CADW have also provided a statutory response to the application yet to go before the planning committee, in which they claim that the application has been ‘inadequately documented’.

The campaigners claim that there are a number of misleading statements in the application including describing the tennis courts as ‘redundant’ and describing the pedestrian walkway from Old Road as a ‘road’.

Editor’s Comment: Recent events at the park have attracted thousands of visitors and the campaigners claim that this was achieved adequately without an existing car park with visitors doing as they have always done, walking, cycling, parking nearby or taking public transport. With Carmarthenshire County Council continually claiming that Carmarthenshire is to be the cycling capital of Wales and their push to get more people walking, healthy and fit, the application to locate at least 48 car parking spaces smack bang in the centre of one of Llanelli’s most cherished green spaces appears to fly in the face of sanity. Llanelli is suffering as a result of no free parking. The only free parking is at the old bus station and as we have reported before, people claim these spaces are being taken early in the morning by council staff. This is not their fault, they have to park somewhere. We hear of the masterplan, the task force, the great plans for the town but it may be too late for many businesses who are feeling the pinch. The priority has to be freeing up space for parking in the town not creating car parks in public parks like Parc Howard.

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