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Pub demolished without permission

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CH170616_Page_11_Image_0008RESIDENTS of Rhydcymerau have expressed their disappointment after demolition work started on a former public house in the village before the application was considered.

Several residents also pointed out that there were various inaccuracies in the demolition application documents, and it was suggested that the building had been deliberately allowed to deteriorate by the applicant.

The Red Dragon was originally two houses, with the oldest part dating back to the 1800s. The property was converted from a shop and petrol station to a public house in 1980, and continued to be a popular focal point for the village over the next 25 years.

Following its closure in 2006 the pub was occupied until 2011, before standing unoccupied until 2015, according to one resident.

However, in March 2015 it is understood that workmen removed tiles from the roof and demolished part of an extension, which led to enforcement officers putting a stop on the work. Around two weeks ago, further demolition work was carried out to the main building.

Since March 2015 , the building has rapidly deteriorated as a result of being exposed to the elements. A bat scoping survey carried out as part of the application said: “The building is structurally unsound and hazardous… The three chimneys are balancing precariously on top of rotting wooden rafters to the roof, and there are some loose slates to the front roof, all of which could fall onto the B4337 road directly below.”

The application for demolition has been valid since April, but is still under consideration.

Residents also expressed reservations about the future use of the site, with one pointing out that there was no mention of future development, but the bat scoping survey makes reference to a housing development on the site.

The partial demolition which has left the building in a derelict and unsafe condition pre-dated the application by more than a year. The Herald asked whether any enforcement action had been taken by the Environmental and Public Protection department regarding this, but had received no response at the time of going to press.

However CCC’s Head of Planning, Llinos Quelch, said: “There is a valid planning application in with regard to the demolition of the pub; the application is yet to be determined. Officers have been out on site and advised the owner not to undertake any further works and to do so would be unauthorised. We are monitoring the matter.

“We are not aware of any additional demolition having taken place. The relevant applications are also being sought for demolition under Section 80 of the Building Act 1984 (the Act), this is in addition to the planning application which is already under consideration.”

Given that, if residents are correct, this is the second time where demolition work has had to be halted on the site in a year, it appears that the initial enforcement was ignored.

Moreover, the extent to which the building has deteriorated could well mean that demolition is now the only option.

The Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Alun Lenny told The Herald that incidents like this were ‘frustrating ‘.

“Not only does it demean the planning process and cause local residents concern but, if enforcement action is taken, it can also cause the developer extra problems,” he added.

However, in this instance it appears that the Nottingham-based developer, Michael Singh, has allowed the elements to finish the job he started.

The bat-scoping survey also pointed out that the removal of the roof meant that it was no longer a likely habitat for the species. It is of course impossible to tell whether bats were present before the roof was removed.

Given that it is unlikely that CCC will order the building to be restored to its previous condition, and in light of the fact that the vast majority of retrospective planning applications are granted it is difficult to see what the active disincentive is for future developers who follow this route.

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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