Refusals expected for lodges near the location mentioned in the Mabinogion

Ruins of Narberth Castle. Image: Philip Halling

Bruce Sinclair Local democracy reporter

Plans for 12 new lodges on a holiday park are expected to be rejected, partly due to concerns about the impact on a historic castle linked to the Mabinogion.

James Powell, of Brookside & Castlewood Holiday Park, Narberth, is seeking permission for 12 self-catering lodges and associated works, as an extension of the existing park, on the edge of the town.

The application will be recommended for refusal when it is presented to Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, which meets on April 23.


The location is close to the castle in the town of Narberth in Pembrokeshire – now twinned with the town of Ludlow in Shropshire – which is mentioned in the Mabinogion as the place where Rhiannon, mother of hero Pryderi, was imprisoned when her newborn child was kidnapped, and she is accused of infanticide.

A report for committee members states: “The application location is prominent and open to view in the wider landscape. The majority of the existing holiday park is located south of the application location, in a wooded valley and hidden from view. It is also outside Narberth’s defined settlement boundary. Public Rights of Way (PRoW) run to the north and east of the site; and to the south by the Holiday Park.”

Narberth Town Council has lodged an objection due to the loss of the public right of way to Tabernacle Lane, Narberth.

The report adds: “The applicant has argued that the proposed development should be assessed (against policy) on the basis that the holiday units are not caravans and that the application site is well connected to Narberth by a public footpath which links the site to Castle Terrace/Market Street on the south side of the city.”


However, officers have disputed whether the units should be treated as buildings, saying: “The submitted designs clearly illustrate timber-clad mobile homes.”

Heneb (formerly Dyfed Archaeological Trust) has objected, saying the impact on the castle and the conservation area is “under-exposed”, and the council’s Historic Buildings & Conservation Officer says the impact on the castle and the conservation area is ‘very high ‘ would be. High’ respectively.

Natural Resources Wales has also raised “significant concerns”, saying: “We note that the disposal of waste water is proposed to be via connection to a pre-existing system, rather than connection to the main sewer. However, the location is in a sewerage area. The installation of private sewage treatment plants in public sewerage areas is not normally considered environmentally acceptable due to the greater risk of failures leading to pollution of the aquatic environment compared to public sewers.”

The report, which sets out the reasons for the refusal, concludes: “It is clear that there will be some economic benefit from the proposed development, but the applicant has not attempted to quantify this.

“However, it is also clear that the proposed development will have negative social impacts in terms of access for people with disabilities; and negative environmental impacts in terms of character and appearance of the landscape, historic assets and the Afon Cleddau SAC.”

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