An official application needs to be made before Haverfordwest’s former learning centre, once occupied by Pembrokeshire College, can be demolished, county planners have said.

Social housing provider Ateb Group Limited recently gave county planners prior notification of its plans to demolish the former learning centre, just off Dew Street, near to the former county library.

In its notification, Ateb said: “The building has been vacant for some years now, resulting in its general deterioration and unsuitability for further use.

“The building present on the site shares little commonality with nearby historic and traditional buildings within the Conservation Area, in terms of appearance, form or setting.

“It has no ecological interest on either the site or the building. In fact, the current style and form of the existing building could be said to detract from the setting and the character of the Haverfordwest Conservation Area.”

It added: “There are proposals for the cleared site to become a residential development of 41 apartments (affordable) at and around the former Learning Centre, Dew Street, Haverfordwest, on behalf of Ateb Group.”

Ateb has said it expected the demolition works to take several weeks, starting this April.

However, county planners have concluded that before any demolition is granted, a prior approval is needed, dependent on a survey of all trees that may be affected by the demolition and a suitable method statement is required to ensure their protection, and a suitable method statement to minimise noise, dust and a strategy for dealing with hazardous materials should they arise during the process of demolition.

Agent Evans Banks Planning Limited was recently instructed by Ateb to undertake a pre-application consultation for its plans for the former learning centre.

A supporting statement said: “The consultation represents a proposal for the construction of a single three storey building which will contain 35 one-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments.

“The new development will provide sufficient off-street parking to serve the needs of both future residents and their visitors. Sustainable travel patterns will be promoted by including the provision for bike storage and parking.”