PLANS for a commercial harbourside development in Carmarthenshire have taken a step forward.
Council leaders have agreed to sell a vacant site in Burry Port while retaining some control over the quality and delivery of what is built there.
The 2.8-acre plot of land is flanked to the east by the former Grillo works site and to the south by the marina.
The council already has outline planning consent to build shops, a hotel, flats and a pub or restaurant there as part of a wider regeneration plan for Burry Port.
Council leader Emlyn Dole told an executive board meeting that the authority could choose not to sell the site, but he said due to the timescales set out in the outline approval, the advice was to dispose of it.
Cllr Dole added: “We could sell it – once sold the council would have no control other than by the planning process.”
The executive board has therefore opted to dispose of it and then select a bidder via an “open procurement procedure”, giving it and the Welsh Government some control.
The wider masterplan for Burry Port has identified housing opportunities, a new enterprise village and harbour upgrades, among other things.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, who has the culture, sport and tourism portfolio, said the 2.8-acre site was part of this larger jigsaw.
“I’m disappointed sometimes that people are so critical of what we are trying to do round the harbour there,” he said.
The council, he said, was spending £2 million upgrading the grade two-listed harbour walls and giving the lighthouse a lick of paint.
A company called The Marine Group has improved mooring facilities in conjunction with the council and is upgrading the former RNLI harbour office, which will include a coffee shop.
A local business, meanwhile, has agreed a lease for a cafe and public toilets on east side of harbour.
Cllr Hughes Griffiths said the development of the 2.8-acre plot would be boost for the town and the wider area.
He added: “Sometimes people need to be more patient. We can’t do it all at once.”
The executive board approved the open procurement disposal, which will give the council’s head of regeneration Jason Jones and executive board member for resources, Cllr David Jenkins, authority to negotiate appropriate terms for the sale of the land.