Plan to help revitalise town centre moves a step closer
A PLAN to help revitalise Llanelli has moved a step closer after county councillors approved an order which they hope will attract new businesses.
The local development order (LDO) would streamline the planning process to allow certain businesses to set up in a defined area of the town centre.
Concerns were raised at full council about whether the LDO might lead to a surge in licensed premises and kebab shops, with councillor John Jenkins saying the town centre’s nighttime economy was “quite over-stimulated” already.
But elected members heard that a new council licensing policy should address this issue.
The LDO, which follows on from a public consultation, covers a range of business types - from shops to food and drink, hotels to gyms - and is set to last for three years. It does, however, now require Welsh Government approval.
The idea is to encourage investment and reverse vacancy rates, and complements other town centre proposals.
Preparation work has been carried out by the Llanelli Centre Task Force, among others.
Speaking at full council before the order was approved unanimously, deputy council leader Mair Stephens said she felt the LDO should be progressed with some urgency.
Mr Jenkins, who represents the town’s Elli ward, said he fully supported it.
“It makes great sense to allow that flexibility to attract new and different businesses to the town centre,” he said. “It’s the negative unforeseen consequences I would be more concerned about, and perhaps these could be addressed by other regimes.
“What we would not want is an over-concentration of licensed premises.
“Are we able to tighten up our licensing regime to make sure that this does not happen? I would not want to over-stimulate the night-time economy - it’s quite over-stimulated in Llanelli at the moment.”
Councillor Philip Hughes, cabinet member for public protection, said: “It’s fair to say we have a new licensing policy coming forward to address these issues. With that in mind, John, bear with us these matters will be rectified, as it were.”
A new plan to revitalise Llanelli town centre has taken a step forward.