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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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Antisocial behaviour falls as police operation continues

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POLICE said that they saw a reduction in antisocial behaviour involving young people in Carmarthenshire over the weekend, following weeks of increased activity.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers proactively patrolled areas which have recently become hot spots for teenagers to gather and drink alcohol as part of an ongoing operation.

A police presence was also maintained on trains between Llanelli and Carmarthen to identify how many youngsters were travelling in the area and where they were getting off.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “Over the weekend we continued our work to target, deter and deal with antisocial behaviour and underage drinking in hot spots identified primarily in Llanelli and Burry Port.

“Section 34 dispersal orders had been put in place ahead of the weekend, meaning we could move on anyone likely to cause antisocial behaviour, but thankfully they were not required. This is an improvement on previous weekends when we have had to exercise these powers.

“A significant number of young people were spoken to, with the vast majority being pleasant, not under the influence of alcohol, and not causing any trouble.

“Members of the public acknowledged the high police presence, as did the young people, and this might have deterred underage drinking.

“We are very pleased to have seen the change in attitudes and behaviour this weekend.”

The force received just one call reporting youngsters gathering at Burry Port harbour, with no offences or antisocial behaviour identified by attending officers.

Of the young people spoken two over the weekend, two were found with alcohol which was seized. Follow-up antisocial behaviour letters will be issued, and home visits will take place shortly.

Groups were also reminded of the dangers of swimming near the harbour and were encouraged to take their rubbish home.

Officers on the rail network removed one drunk adult from a train.

Sgt Davies said: “I would like to thank all officers involved in the operation over the weekend, as well as the young people who made sure they stayed within the law while enjoying the weather.

“We will be out and about again next weekend and throughout the summer, making sure the area is enjoyable for all who visit.”

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Lord Lieutenant visits Mass Vaccination Centre

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Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sarah Edwards, has paid tribute to all those involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme during a visit to the Y Ffwrness Mass Vaccination Centre in Llanelli.

During the visit on Wednesday 9th June she was joined by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr.Jonathan Gravell. They met and spoke to the centre’s vaccinators, NHS staff, security staff and volunteers.

To date, the collective efforts of mass vaccination centres, GP practices and community pharmacies in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, have resulted in the Hywel Dda University Health Board delivering over 431,850 vaccinations. This means 266,785 of the eligible population have now received a first vaccine, and 165,056 have received both doses.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed said: “It was wonderful to see first-hand the incredible work being undertaken by the vaccinators, NHS staff and volunteers. They have played a crucial role in the success of the vaccine rollout programme. I would also pay tribute to the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to getting vaccinated.”

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the health board, I was delighted to welcome Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr Jonathan Gravell. I am deeply proud of everyone involved in the vaccination programme and I’m glad they got to see for themselves the incredibly work being undertaken to help get us through this pandemic.”

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Alcohol seized and teenager arrested as police deal with antisocial behaviour

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POLICE seized large amounts of alcohol and arrested a teenager as they continued to deal with antisocial behaviour over the weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police had proactive plans in place to deal with ongoing issues of groups of youngsters gathering in Carmarthenshire following rising reports of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour over the past two months.

Dispersal orders were in place across Llanelli and Burry Port, giving police the powers to move anyone believed to be causing a nuisance, harassment or distress out of the area.

Officers patrolling the rail network in Carmarthenshire on Saturday noticed a large amount of young people getting off the train at Ferryside, where an additional dispersal order was put in place and alcohol was seized.

Officers were also required to deal with children trespassing on the railway tracks.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “We had received reports of children with alcohol running across the tracks, which posed a huge danger to themselves and others, and had to be stopped as a priority.

“One boy who was detained became abusive towards officers and could not be reasoned with. Officers had no choice but to arrest him for his own safety and to prevent further offences from being committed.

“This incident goes to show that the kind of behaviour we are dealing with goes beyond groups of young people meeting to have a good time, and is putting people in highly dangerous situations.”

A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of trespassing on the railway and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries by British Transport Police.

Early intervention was taken in the Trostre area of Llanelli, where officers noticed groups of children meeting on Saturday.

Sgt Davies said: “More than 60 young people were moved on from both locations and a large amount of alcohol was seized.

“Out of these groups, four notices were issued to those causing the most trouble in the Trostre area which prevented them from returning, and each of these youngsters were taken home.

“This swift action was a deterrent to other young people who were planning on joining the groups and were still travelling to the area.”

“We will continue to put plans in place each weekend and over the summer holidays to deal with antisocial behaviour, using all powers available to us to put a stop to it.”

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