The family trust who own Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island have vowed to continue to keep the landmark open to the general public.
The developers behind a project to re-establish the island and fort which sits alongside Castle Beach as a visitor attraction, last month confirmed that the site would once again close its gates to the public, as the scheme faced an uncertain future.
Pete Prosser who along with his team has been behind the Tenby Island Project since 2012, saw a planning application for a change of use to a visitor attraction, including the provision of new buildings to provide supporting facilities/services, and the improvement of access to and on the island, granted approval by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, in July of last year, subject to some 16 planning conditions, 14 of which were disputed by the developers.
Despite the Welsh Assembly Government earlier this year allowing an appeal against the planning conditions imposed on the project following a public inquiry hearing, it is believed that stringent variations on these conditions introduced by the Planning Inspectorate, may have effectively set the project back and made the development unviable, with Mr. Prosser revealing that he and his team would be moving on to a project in Pembroke.
A statement released this week after St Catherine’s closed its doors to the public once again on Saturday, said that the family trust who own the Island and Fort ‘recognise, acknowledge and fully appreciate’ the level of support for the sites well being and have taken action to appoint appropriately qualified staff to manage its security, maintenance and future use.
“It is important to underline that these duties and responsibilities focus on the care, up-keep and maintenance of this iconic part of Tenby’s history and they report directly to the trust,” said a spokeperson.
“The short-term aim will be to achieve a self-financed position of management which will work towards re-opening the Island to the general public.
“Income raised will be attributed to the care, upkeep and maintenance of the Island and Fort, a position not easily achieved given its limited tidal access and the inherent restrictions of a National Monument, Grade II listed building and a place of Special Scientific Interest located within a Marine Protection Zone.
“We thank all those who have and continue to support the Island and Fort as we look towards a positive future,” they added.
A new Facebook page @StCatherine’sIsland has now also been set up.