Councillors will visit the proposed site for a lorry park in Pembroke Dock before decided on planning consent following concerns about safety and pollution.

An application for an HGV tanker park – with space for 17 oil tankers and 18 cars – on land off Criterion Way was recommended for approval by planning officers but there was opposition from three local members and the town council at the August 5 committee.

The committee voted in favour of visiting the site, with more alternatives considered more suitable by Pembroke Dock councillors, and Certas Energy UK Limited’s application for a tanker park, welfare facility and associated infrastructure will be reconsidered at a later date.

The site lies within the area there was previous planning permission for a marina and associated leisure development but that permission lapsed in 2019, a report due to go to committee states.

Pembroke Civic Trust objects to the plan, raising concerns about the closeness to amenities such as Lidl and a play area, as well as “the potential for an explosion” and smells.

Concerns have also been raised by Pembroke Dock Town Council about the development’s sustainability and lack of contribution to infrastructure or economy of the town as well as the compounding of existing traffic concerns.

Adressing the meeting, Clr. Paul Dowson, who represents the Pembroke Dock Central Ward on the county council said: “Just to be clear, right from the offset, this is the wrong location for a project which has no commercial value for the town.

“Pembroke Dock inherently and systematically has been neglected by PCC. We are the town which is at the back of the queue for funding. We are an afterthought and afforded very little in terms of consideration, particularly when it comes to planning decisions on this scale.

“This tanker park I agree is necessary, but not at this location. It poses a commercial threat to Lidl, and will impact upon their trade.

“Having oil tankers right on top of a play area, and the potential for an explosion, regardless of measure in place, does not 100 per cent guarantee safety.

“Safety measures may reduce the risk, but does not remove it. It only takes one explosion to kill people.

“On top of that, there will be smells and potentially toxic gas. The site is on reclaimed land and any leaks of spillage will end up in the seawater, without travelling more than a few feet,” he continued.

“This development offers nothing to the town’s economy. It gives nothing to the town’s infrastructure, and is nothing more than convenient, as well as the most cost effective for the operator.

“As a former HGV driver for a tanker operator, I am aware of damage that can be caused by tri axle 40 tonne articulated lorries. The three rear axles do not turn smoothly at junctions. In fact, tyres do not turn, they drag sideways, and tear up tarmac. HGV yards are concreted, but our town has roads made from tarmac.

“Take a look at Commercial Row for evidence that Pembroke Dock has become a soft touch for planning applications. This has to stop.

“I ask the committee to deny this application, and consider the wishes of the people of Pembroke Dock, and identify a more suitable site in the area, of which there are many,” added Clr. Dowson.