CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has welcomed a decision to allow Llanelli’s Wellness and Life Science Village to go ahead.
The Welsh Planning Directorate has informed the authority that it will not call in the planning application for the £200million project, which was unanimously approved by the council’s Planning Committee in January.
It means work can now begin in earnest to deliver the landmark development along the Llanelli coast, which will provide world-class business, education, leisure and health facilities for the people of Carmarthenshire as well as major employment opportunities.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council, has welcomed the decision.
“Naturally, we are delighted that the Planning Directorate has seen fit to allow the council to determine this planning application without the need for Welsh Government intervention,” he said.
“We covered all bases in our application and have been confident from the outset that our plans for the Wellness Village have been robust, and of exceptional high quality.
“Our confidence in this scheme has been so strong that we have carried on with site investigation work whilst awaiting this decision, but it is great to finally be able to come off the brakes and start delivering this world-class development to benefit the people of Carmarthenshire.”
Cllr Alun Lenny, Chair of the Planning Committee, added: “The call in request, which resulted in a stop notice, was not necessary in my view as the Planning Committee had given the application its most careful consideration, including a lengthy site visit. I’m very glad that the Welsh Government has shown every confidence in our decision.”
The Wellness and Life Science Village is one of 11 projects that make up the £1.3billion Swansea Bay City Deal, and is expected to create close to 2,000 jobs and give the local economy a £467million boost.
Impressive new designs for the first phase of the project were released just a few weeks ago, giving people an exciting insight into how the village will look.
It will include a state-of-the-art leisure and aquatic centre and outdoor recreation space, alongside assisted living accommodation, a wellness hotel, a wellness education centre, and a community health hub, to support and encourage people to live healthy lives.
A research based business development centre and clinical delivery centre will provide world-class medical research and health care delivery.
Landscape is fundamental to the design of the village with the integration of internal and external space to encourage users to explore and be active whilst enjoying spectacular views across Delta Lake and west to the Loughor Estuary and Carmarthen Bay.
Five individual buildings will be linked together in a ‘street’ layout, connected by a central atrium comprising a reception, café and other public amenities.
Ground investigations have taken place on site throughout June and July.
Samples will be assessed, and ground water and gases monitored on the whole of the Delta Lakes site, including the avenue areas off New Dock Road.
The results will be used to inform the design of the buildings and for the discharge of various planning conditions.
Carmarthenshire County Council has already set aside funding in its 2019-20 Capital Programme for the new leisure centre which will include:
· An aquatic centre featuring an eight lane 25-metre long swimming pool, a splash pool and a learner pool
· A state-of-the-art gym and fitness studios
· A multi-purpose sports hall for a range of sports, including badminton and netball
· A hydrotherapy pool
· A ‘Clip and Climb’ zone including climbing walls, frames and platforms
The inclusion of world-class diving facilities is also being explored, which could host international competitions and become a training base for Wales.