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Development order to boost town centre

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A PROPOSAL which Carmarthenshire County Council believes would help continue the regeneration of Llanelli’s town centre was approved by the Executive Board on Monday (Jul 2).

The draft Local Development Order (LDO), which would enable businesses and property owners to make some changes of use without having to apply for full planning permission, had previously been discussed by the Community Scrutiny Committee.

A report put before the board said that the LDO would ‘seek to consider and address issues of vacancy and activity on both ground and upper floors, and to examine the potential for alternative uses within a defined spatial area of Llanelli Town Centre.

‘The LDO will, in conjunction with other regeneration initiatives seek to assist in enhancing the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre through developing a ‘living centre’.

The Order, which would run for three years, is intended to ‘streamline the planning process’ by granting permission for certain types of development within the area.

The plans would make it easier for the upper floors of buildings to be brought back into use as, for example, shops, offices, residential dwellings or restaurants. Certain changes of use in ground floor units would also not require planning permission, including restaurants, cafes, takeaways, and drinking establishments.

Introducing the plans, Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens explained that the proposals would not allow external changes to buildings.

“We are moving forward,” she added, noting that the consultation responses had been ‘relatively positive’.

However, she pointed out that work still had to be done to satisfy Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who had issues with the potential flooding risk in the town centre.

Cllr Stephens said that after the plans were taken to the Welsh Government for approval, they should return to be discussed by full council in September.

“This is something we have all been asking for, for some time,” she added.

Cllr Glynog Davies agreed, noting that Llanelli town centre had ‘suffered quite considerably’.

“The centre has lost many shops. I think we need a vision in order to promote the town,” he added.

“We need to think outside of the box. We are not going to attract these large shops back in, so we need to think differently, which is what we are doing here.”

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Police concerned about missing man

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CONCERNS are growing for 75-year-old Samuel Geler Thomas, who has been missing from his home in Llanelli since July 10.

Mr Thomas is described as around 5’ 6-7” tall and bald. He was last seen wearing khaki jeans, a white t-shirt and white and black Puma trainers.

He is believed to have left his house between 6am and 6.30am on July 10. Enquiries have established that his bus pass was last used on the X2 service in Porthcawl at around 7.40am on July 12, and there was a potential sighting in St Mary’s Street, Cardiff, on July 13.

Anyone with information that could lead to Mr Thomas’s whereabouts is urged to call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101, quoting reference 522 of July 10.

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Lucy’s Law gets support from AMs

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AN EVENT calling for the introduction of ‘Lucy’s Law’ was held in the Senedd last Wednesday (Jul 11).

Assembly Members Eluned Morgan and Vikki Howells sponsored the event in support of an immediate ban on the sale of puppies by pet shops and other third-party commercial dealers, in response to growing concerns from animal charities that not enough is being done to prevent illegal breeding and animal cruelty.

The sale of puppies through commercial third-party dealers both sustains and is dependent upon the existence of ‘puppy farms’, where puppies are bred for maximum profit and with minimal regard for animal welfare.

Although very few high street pet shops sell puppies these days, the third-party trade remains significant across the UK with dealers operating from a diverse array of premises including private homes and puppy superstores. Evidence suggests that the trade sources puppies bred in Wales.

According to animal charity, CARIAD, a ban is the essential first step towards ending the practice of farming dogs for profit with little or no regard for their welfare or their fitness as family companions. Stress, increased risk of disease, poor breeding practices and irresponsible selling tactics are all associated with the method of third-party puppy selling.

Respected Vet and campaigner Marc Abraham spoke during the event at the National Assembly for Wales, he said:
“It simply isn’t enough to license puppy sellers, we must have a full and complete ban, to stop the trade and supply of dogs bred on such an extensive scale. Lucy’s Law will help to change the way dogs are bred in this country. It will make the process more transparent and raise standards, improving the economy and employment opportunities. This is a revolution in dog breeding and it will do wonders for the reputation of Wales as a responsible dog breeding nation.”

Eluned Morgan AM said: “There are many documented cases of puppy farming, particularly in the region I represent. Puppy smuggling is also an issue with several reported cases of puppies entering our ports from Ireland. The adoption of Lucy’s Law in Wales sends a strong message that as a nation we expect the highest animal welfare practises and that the cruel act of puppy farming can be consigned to history. I want us to be ambitious and to take the lead on this legislation which I hope will be a real possibility following this event in the Senedd.”

Vikki Howells AM said: “I am pleased to be jointly hosting this event today with important contributions from Pup Aid and CARIAD and Marc the vet who has done so much to raise awareness of Lucy’s Law across the United Kingdom and now here in Wales too.”

Legislation relating to Lucy’s Law is devolved to the Welsh Government under the 1956 An

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Two women could help police with an investigation

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is looking to speak to two witnesses of an incident in Llanelli on Friday (Jul 13).

A man in a car made comments about a teenager’s nationality at around 9pm in Trostre Retail Park.

Two women in a turquoise or blue car stopped to help the victim. Officers would like to speak to them to get further information about the incident.

Call 101, quoting ref 437 of July 13 if you can help.

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