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Big ambitions for Burry Port

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Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 13.47.02IT SEEMS that there are grand plans for the estuary town of Burry Port.

The Burry Inlet is a large estuarine complex located between the Gower Peninsula and Llanelli. The site contains the largest continuous area of saltmarsh in Wales (2,200 ha) and regularly supports large numbers of overwintering wildfowl and waders that feed in the saltmarshes and on the intertidal areas.

If you believe internet searches and Council planning announcements, the town and surrounding area is to become a vibrant and modern space in which people can enjoy working, living and playing. An environment where stylish and contemporary office buildings, attractive housing developments, as well as lively restaurants, bars, theatres and a wealth of other cultural and leisure facilities, sit comfortably together around expanses of sparkling water and lush green parkland.

There appear to be ample business opportunities for local people according to one website (llanelli-waterside.co.uk), The Herald discovered via the Swansea Bay Region website, which appears to be owned by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Llanelli Waterside claims that opportunities at Burry Port are diverse: including retail, leisure, commercial, tourism and that they all nestle side by side in this seaside town.

Enviably placed in more ways than one, Burry Port can allow the canny investor to achieve not just a good return but to have a position in one of the most up and coming areas in the UK.

A VIEW FROM ABOVE

The Herald took a morning out of the office to take in the estuary air at Burry Port and visited the prospective sites of Delta Lakes and Burry Port.

Delta Lakes looks like any industrial park dotted around Wales. Grey metal clad buildings within a fenced compound with a variety of small businesses occupying the largely windowless buildings.

The surrounding land and ponds appeared to be supporting a lot of wildlife. However, there was no view from the Delta Lakes estate other than the rising sand dunes and overgrowth which was some height above the proposed development area. A variety of drainage channels ran in all directions and supported reed growth, which one would imagine were doing a grand job of absorbing water. It really is one of natures natural sponges as it stands. As the risk of flooding low lying areas has been thrown in to sharp focus by recent events, this might be a consideration worth taking into account before any future development.

The website details developments at North Dock in Llanelli stating: “At the head of the dock lie the immediate development opportunities suitable for commercial uses such as a café bar, restaurant and a landmark hotel. These will create a lively visual focus from the bridge accessing the dock and generate linkages further west along Llanelli Waterside into the wider leisure and recreation developments at Old Castle Works.”

The website makes it all sound so tempting and to top it all the information states that “Delta Lakes is one of the few sites across South West Wales to be eligible for the South West Wales Property Development Fund. The aim of the Fund is to develop high-quality commercial ‘BREEAM Excellent’ buildings in the region.” There is also the final sales pitch, which should seal it for any canny investor. “The Fund can provide up to 50% of the costs to investors and developers for speculative projects.”

We drove on to Burry Port where a number of small independent shops still line the main high street. The banks have closed but there was a Natwest van in a car park, which appeared to be dispensing money.

The train station is ideally located for those living in the pretty new estates and the old original cottages to commute to where the jobs and universities are located or even jump on and head for the bright lights of London – or even Llanelli.

A BUSY TOWN

There were some empty premises but in general Burry Port was thriving. The website goes on to explain that “Investment has been made in infrastructure and transport to make the area more accessible and now provides perfect access into the Pembrey peninsular which now hosts attractions such as Beach Break Live and Ffos Las racecourse.

The Herald enjoyed the morning out at Burry Port but could no help wondering where the children of the families from all these new homes in the new Carmarthenshire Shangri-La would play football, rugby or cricket. What steps would be taken to ensure those facilities remained for the occupiers of new homes on the old zinc oxide works and the bijou apartments for artisans and craftsmen?

More on that next week, as we interview one lady who is struggling to keep open one of the town’s play areas, even taking home play equipment to fix herself.

We will be looking at whether resources for the existing infrastructure and community notwithstanding, including flood defences, should be prioritised before any new executive developments for the benefit of offshore investors is built.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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