Ateb’s Plans to Move to Former Library Expected to be Approved Despite Concerns
Plans by housing association group Ateb to move to Haverfordwest’s former library are expected to be approved despite concerns about a potential loss of parking and the relocation of an important piece of artwork.
The former library building in the town’s Dew Street has not been used since 2012, a replacement library is now sited at the former riverside market.
In an application before the October meeting of Pembrokeshire County council’s planning committee, W Lloyd Davies of Ateb Group seeks permission for a change of use of the 1960s building – designed by Pembrokeshire County Architect Gilbert Ray – to provide office accommodation, a communal cafe and ancillary community uses.
The application, which includes lettable office space, conference facilities and meeting rooms, is recommended for approval.
If permission is granted, Ateb plans to relocate the company’s headquarters from its current premises at Meyler House, St Thomas’ Green, Haverfordwest.
A report for planners says the applicant owns and controls an existing car park nearby with an indicated capacity of 126 spaces, the former library and Dew Street public car parks which are now operated as ‘pay & display’ parking.
Haverfordwest Town Council and residents have expressed concerns about the impact of development on existing parking provision.
The Dew Street Campaign, a local residents group, has submitted representations calculating a ‘worst case’ scenario suggesting that 70 parking spaces would be required to serve the development. The group has also suggested that there is potential for loss of the car parking provision to any housing development as it is controlled by the applicant.
The Head of Infrastructure – Highways indicates that it is likely that there is sufficient parking adjacent to the site to accommodate all of the proposed uses, the report says.
However, it is recommended that 27 spaces in addition to five proposed in the application are secured in a suitable layout to serve the development.
It is also recommended that efforts should be made to encourage active and sustainable travel modes to and from the proposed development in order to minimise the amount of personal vehicle use.
“The concerns of the Dew Street Campaign vis-à-vis potential housing development on the existing car parks is noted,” the report states.
“However, there are presently no applications for such development and in any event, the loss of available car parking provision would be a material consideration in the determination of any application should an application come forward.”
Another concern raised about the development is cultural.
The library building features a first-floor sculpture by David Tinker, an important and influential modernist sculptor and painter, designed to capture the light falling on the building, but it is proposed to move it where it will be less apparent to the public.
Officers are recommending a condition that requires a detailed method statement for the relocation of the Tinker sculpture.
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