Sainsbury's store and 700 new homes for Haverfordwest

A Sainsbury's store
Image caption A planning report says a new Sainsbury's superstore will help regenerate the town

Plans to build more than 700 new homes, along with a Sainsbury's superstore and petrol station in Pembrokeshire, have been unanimously approved.

The development in Haverfordwest had been recommended for approval at a council meeting on Tuesday.

There is concern a third supermarket could undermine the "vitality and viability of the town centre".

Pembrokeshire council leader Jamie Adams said the decision gave the county a "significant" economic opportunity.

He added: "Construction opportunities on this scale do not come along every day in these difficult times.

"We look forward to local engagement on the employment front, not only during the construction phase, but also subsequently in the case of the superstore."

Under the plans 729 homes, including some affordable housing, will be built on farmland near the town centre.

The development will be over 74 acres (30 hectares) and land has also been earmarked for a possible primary school.

A Pembrokeshire council planning report into the Conygar development concluded it would help regenerate the town and would have "positive economic and social impacts".

However, it does admit that a new supermarket - which will be in addition to Haverfordwest's existing Tesco and Morrisons stores - could affect smaller shops in the town centre.

The report said: "The analysis of retail impact does suggest that there is a risk that the proposed superstore could result in closures of existing convenience stores in the town centre."

But it added that this had to be seen in the context that local shops already had to trade in an area where there was a "significant out-of-centre superstore" presence.

'More competitive'

Independent councillor Mr Edwards, who represents the Haverfordwest Prendergast ward, said he believed the development was a "winner all around".

"I think it's excellent news for the town to have the extra housing near the town centre as that will bring in extra customers," he said.

"It's excellent news to have a Sainsbury's there as well as a school. And it is fantastic news as we desperately need new housing.

"I don't really think it will have much effect on the town centre shops as we already have supermarkets here.

"I just think it will mean all supermarkets will have to become more competitive, which is good news for customers."

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