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Hendy: Site bulldozed before objections are heard

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Concerned: Nia Griffiths MP

Concerned: Nia Griffiths MP

BULLDOZERS have moved in to demolish hedgerows, take up kerbs and cut down trees to make a new access for a proposed new building development near the Llwynbedw estate in Hendy, Carmarthenshire.

Residents contacted The Herald on Friday (Oct 23) to visit the estate as they were concerned that the contractors were in breach of planning procedures. Hedgerows are protected Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 (SI no 1160): It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows (excluding those forming garden boundaries) without permission.

Residents told The Herald that Persimmon Homes has instructed contractors to move onto the site and begin clearing but that the planning process has not been completed. A sign on a nearby lamp post cited the date for closure for objections as 4/11/2015 Residents also claim that the new access to the site was not on the original plans they were privy to. Around 15 residents gathered at the site last Friday along with Nia Griffith MP and Lee Waters, the prospective AM for Llanelli. Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department has been called into question yet again by the residents of the Llwynbedw estate who say that their requests for a planning enforcement officer to come out and see what was going on were ignored. Lee Waters said, “This company (Persimmon Homes) is a stock market quoted company a major home builder and they seem to be not complying with local planning permission, knocking down hedges, starting building before the planning process has taken its course. Here is an example where a company has clearly not obeyed the rules and it is for Carmarthenshire County Council to restore people’s faith in the planning process.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Nia Griffith MP told The Herald, “I think it is absolutely terrible when people wake up one morning to see machines tearing up the hedgerows and roadway assuming that they are going to get planning permission. There are proper processes. This should be going to a planning committee and it should be considered. All of the residents objections should be taken into consideration. An officers report would be produced and a sensible decision made with all of the evidence. When people are allowed to ride roughshod over the rules it opens the flood gates for others to do the same. My concern here is we have not yet seen the enforcement officers coming out to see what is going on. They should be on this like a tonne of hot bricks and really making sure that they keep on top of the situation and make sure that people can not get away with building without planning permission. People believe that there is a lack of consistency and that there is one rule for one and one rule for another. Their voices are not being listened to. I think it (Carmarthenshire’s Planning Dept) is going to have to do a lot to regain the public’s trust. There is a rumour going around that you can do anything in Carmarthenshire and you will get retrospective planning given to you.”

Huw Llewellyn, managing director for Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We can confirm that we carried out work at a site in Llwyn Bedw, Hendy.  This was preparation work for the development to divert existing overhead electricity and BT telephone wires, the work was undertaken utilising statutory undertakers’ powers and was not reliant on the planning approval.

Carmarthenshire County Council is aware of the work that has been undertaken and we have been in full dialogue with the authority. An agreement is in place that no further work is to be carried out before the completion of Section 106 agreement which will release the planning approval for the new development.”

In a statement by Carmarthenshire County Council Development Management Manager Julian Edwards he said, “The planning department has been made aware of works being carried out at the site in question, and the developers have been contacted to advise them that any works that constitute development, or the removal of any trees, should cease with immediate effect. The site will continue to be monitored accordingly, with the authority considering what action will be relevant and expedient. Additional works on the land, for example the raising or diverting of power lines, would not necessarily constitute development requiring formal approval, although the authority will monitor this element as well.”

Planning application S/31228 for the construction of 96 dwelling houses and associated infrastructure works was submitted by Persimmon homes in October 2014, and was publicised both in the local press and by means of site notices. Subsequent notices have also been displayed when amended details have been received, the most recent of which took place only last week. As yet, no target date has been set for consideration of the planning application.”

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Llanelli and Germany meet again for Oktoberfest 2019

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Fans of beer, music and dancing are in for a treat as Oktoberfest comes to Llanelli this October.

Bringing the German beer festival closer to home, Oktoberfest celebrates its first year in Llanelli this 5th and 6th of October. With a Bavarian Oompah band, German beer, food and an Oktoberfest themed venue, it is sure to be a fantastic event.

Popularly known as the world’s largest beer festival, the traditional Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany. With more than six million people travelling from all over the world to attend the Munich event, Iceqbe Events are now hosting the festival in Llanelli.

Iceqbe plan to bring the Bavarian atmosphere to the same venue that the town was once twinned with Germany in 1989. Taking place in the Selwyn Samuel Centre, the event is hopeful to attract both Llanelli locals as well as those who live further afield, supporting the Welsh town.

In preparation for the crowd, the biggest German beer festival to hit Llanelli will take place in a 220 people capacity venue, with the two-day festival spread into three separate beer-drinking sessions. 

Recently nominated for the Great British High Street award, this up and coming town is overflowing with welsh culture and international events, including Pride which took place in Llanelli earlier this year.

Iceqbe’s Co-Founder and Operations manager, Stefan Diamond, explains why they chose the town to host their event.

“We are thrilled to be hosting our very first Oktoberfest event in Llanelli,” said Stefan.

“I’ve lived here for seven years now and know first-hand what a great atmosphere this town brings to events like this. 

“With the town’s connection to Germany, it felt like the obvious choice for our event location. We can’t wait for beer-lovers across the UK to come together for a weekend of dancing, food and fantastic Bavarian beer!”

Co-founder of Iceqbe events, Luke James, explains what they’re hoping to achieve from the event.

“As the majority of event companies continue to outsource their staff, customer service levels have dropped whilst food and drink prices have skyrocketed,” he said. 

“We want to change that. We manage everything in-house which allows us to have full control over everything, from the venue to staffing. Our priority is to provide an amazing, safe and great value experience.”

Oktoberfest is sure to have people flocking in, with the opportunity to win tickets for you and five friends via their social media channel. To find out more about Oktoberfest, visit https://www.iceqbe.com/.

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PH Balance help arrest alleged sex offender

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A 51-YEAR-OLD male was arrested in Llanelli last Sunday (Sept 08) in connection to an alleged sexual offence.

Paedophile Hunting group PH Balance South Wales admitted to being involved with trapping the suspect through the use of a decoy. According to PH Balance’s recent Facebook post, the man had arranged a meeting with PH member Dobby who was acting as as a 14-year-old boy online. The man had shown up to the Llanelli town centre to allegedly take the young boy shopping. 

Dyfed-Powys Police arrived swiftly on scene and placed the alleged offender in handcuffs before taking him to the station in the back of a police vehicle.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Llanelli Herald: “On Sunday, September 8, we received allegations from a group in respect of a man in the Swansea area, which related to offences involving children. Officers arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of meeting a child following grooming, at Eastgate Llanelli, the same day.”

The spokesman added: “The man has been bailed from police custody with conditions.”

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Becoming Deputy Chief Constable ‘a huge privilege’

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CLAIRE PARMENTER has been announced as the new Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, describing it as a ‘huge privilege’.

DCC Parmenter, who grew up in Llanelli but now lives in Carmarthen, has worked her way through the ranks since joining the force as a PC 26 years ago.

She said: “Becoming the Deputy Chief Constable within my home force is a huge privilege for me, I hope this will inspire other officers and staff to achieve whatever they want across the service.”

Her policing career began in Ammanford in 1993, having just completed a BA (HONS) degree in Education at Cardiff.

“I was thinking of a career in teaching or policing, and decided to do my degree before making the choice,” DCC Parmenter said. “Policing was always in my heart, so when it came to it, it was an easy decision.”

As well as serving in a variety of uniform roles, DCC Parmenter has undertaken a number of secondments across UK Policing and beyond.

These include a role as national field officer with the National Policing Improvement Agency, becoming operational Chief Inspector in Avon and Somerset Police, and contributing to the national implementation of neighbourhood policing, for which she received a chief constable’s commendation.

She was promoted to Superintendent in 2010 and became lead for the Joint Emergency Services Group in Wales, leading and developing a number of blue light collaboration and resilience programmes, working closely with Fire and Rescue, Welsh Ambulance Service Trust and Welsh Government.

“I’ve always tried to look at the wider landscape of policing and how we work with partners to improve services to our communities,” she said. “These secondments have given me exposure to different ways of working and has broadened my outlook.”

DCC Parmenter returned to uniformed policing in 2012 and took up the role of Superintendent of specialist operations.

She later took over as BCU Commander for Carmarthenshire and Powys, and later took up the post of Chief Superintendent Head of Uniformed Policing for the force.

She is an accredited Strategic Firearms and Gold Public order commander and has won a Stonewall National award for her support of LGBT staff.

A mother of two, DCC Parmenter’s drive and dedication has not only led her to become a chief officer, but has also had a positive influence on her teenage daughters.

DCC Parmenter said: “My youngest daughter is 14 and she’s also keen to join the police. It’s nice to know that she looks at my career positively and can see how policing can make a real difference.

“I’m very proud to be a chief officer in the force I am from. Being able to effect the delivery of services in my home area, and to serve people in the area I live ensuring the best possible service, is a huge privilege.”

Looking ahead, DCC Parmenter’s aims are to keep delivering across Dyfed-Powys Police, and to ensure the force continues to improve and innovate.

She added: “I know Dyfed-Powys communities and staff very well, and I think we have got all the ingredients to be an absolutely outstanding force. I look forward to being a part of the chief officer team to deliver that.

“I’m really grateful to our staff and colleagues across the force, who have supported me throughout my career.”

Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Claire has shown outstanding commitment to our communities over many years and I am delighted to have her as my Deputy Chief Constable.”

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