New life for St. Catherine’s Island in Tenby
Published: Monday 22nd Jun 2015
Written by: Anita Lee
Plans have been approved to re-vitalise St. Catherine’s Island and its fort. The site, advocates say, will become yet another reason for visitors to enjoy the coast in South Wales.
Executives at the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s approved the improvements proposed at the landmark in Tenby. The plans call for a new visitor attraction and retail centre on the island. Despite resistance from some, the development committee approved the measure saying they believed it will provide economic benefits for the popular resort town.
Each year Tenby holiday cottages entice visitors to enjoy sea-side adventures in Pembrokeshire.
Peter Prosser of the Tenby Island Project wants to improve the island and its historic Napoleonic fort. His plans for the island include a gift shop, food and drink, and retail uses. There was also approval for power generators for ticket and retail use, the restoration and replacement of the outside railings, installation of cranes and boat landings. Further development will include a security residence, toilet and pumping facilities.
There are also plans for the installation of a cliff nature walk, signage, path lighting and the repair of stairs and installation of new ones. Potentially, there may be new bridge built to connect the island to the mainland.
Concerns had been raised about plans for a footbridge. Opponents of the re-development are afraid the project could spoil Tenby’s dramatic views of the seas. The approved application does not say the bridge is needed specifically, but that it could be necessary.
A previous application had been refused over technical issues regarding bat surveys, but they had since been carried out with the help of Natural Resources Wales.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, the Earl of Pembroke, the uncle of King Henry VII owned the island. Later, the ownership passed to the Corporation of Tenby, who took possession of a number of crown lands in the region.
In April 2014, the island was opened to the public for the first time since 1979 in a limited fashion based on the tides.
Image Credit: lhourahane (flickr.com)