Wales’ Fastest-Growing Business Backed for EV Charging Facility and Drive-Thru Restaurant
An application for an electric vehicle charging facility with a ‘drive-thru’ restaurant, made by Wales’ fastest-growing business, was unanimously backed by Pembrokeshire planners.
Ascona Retail Ltd sought the demolition of an existing garage and sales areas at Haven Bridge Garage, Honeyborough, near Neyland, with the construction of an electric vehicle charging facility, a 40-seat drive-thru restaurant, a drive-thru coffee pod, vehicle wash and valet area, together with associated parking and service areas.
The scheme, which it is said will create the equivalent of 34 full-time jobs, was recommended for conditional approval when it came before Pembrokeshire County Council’s July 25 meeting of its planning committee.
The application originally included a soft play area, but that was later removed following discussions with planning officers.
Local community council Llanstadwel supported the application in principle, but had raised concerns about access to and from the nearby busy A477 main road.
Two letters on concern raised a similar issue, one saying: “The extra traffic generated by this proposed development will make what is already a dangerous stretch of road even more dangerous”.
It was suggested concerns could be mitigated by constructing a roundabout and having a 30-mph zone to include the new roundabout and the road to the nearby Honeyborough roundabout.
Speaking at the planning meeting, agent Matthew Jones said the application was intended to provide “a high-quality experience” while drivers waited for their electric vehicles to charge, which typically took 30-60 minutes.
He said a reduction in the speed limit of the nearby main road had been agreed, in principle, which the applicant was supportive of.
Moving the application be approved, Councillor Mark Carter said he “wholeheartedly” supported the scheme.
Last year, The Sunday Times ranked the UK’s 100 fastest-growing companies for the first time, with Ascona Group Wales’ fastest.
It was also the 32nd fastest-growing company in the UK, with £201m in sales.
Mr Briggs launched Ascona in Pembrokeshire in 2011, starting with the first fuel station at The Green in nearby Pembroke.
It was not until 2018 that he began to expand from two sites in the county to some 64 UK-wide, backed by investment firm Crestline Europe and Nash Business Capital.
Earlier this year, Ascona Estates Ltd was granted planning permission for a new head office at the Cleddau Bridge Business Park, Pembroke Dock.
The Haven Bridge Garage site was formerly occupied by Pembrokeshire Vauxhall dealership W P Lewis & Son, whose main branch is near Cosheston.
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