Plan to help re­vi­talise town cen­tre moves a step closer

Llanelli Star - - Letters - Richard Youle @YoulePost 01792 545553 [email protected]­di­awales.co.uk

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.

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