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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Council backs town's 50m revamp
An artist's impression of the new development
Developers say the scheme will create 300 new jobs
A 50m shopping development in Carmarthen town centre has won planning consent despite dozens of objections.

A Debenhams department store, cinema, bowling alley, new market hall and multi-storey car-park will be built on the site of the old livestock market.

Objectors warned it would cause noise and pollution, a loss of privacy for neighbours and traffic problems as it involves closing a main road.

But it was passed by five votes to two by county councillors on Thursday.

Objectors said it was "a disgrace" Carmarthen Council's planning committee decided against making a site visit before considering the application by Simons Developments.

This is an exciting and innovative project that will be the making of Carmarthen
Colin Evans

Resident Sian Swan told the planning committee meeting at County Hall: "I'm appalled that my elected members have refused to visit the site because the impact this is going to have on all of us who live around it is going to be absolutely remarkable.

"Eighty percent of the whole site is surrounded by homes and gardens."

The town council and civic society had also lodged objections.

Councillor John Edwards, who voted against the development, said his opposition was based on the need to close St Catherine Street to traffic during the day.

"By closing this main road through the town we are asking for trouble," he said.

Carmarthen indoor market
The current indoor market will be knocked down and rebuilt

The Carmarthen Mart site has been empty since the livestock market was moved to an out-of-town site.

The development also involves demolishing the existing indoor market and building a new one.

Simons Developments, who declined to speak at the meeting, have said the scheme will create up to 300 jobs.

Backing the proposals, councillor Bill Thomas said: "That land is there and needs to be developed.

"For the young people of Carmarthen it gives job opportunities - we can't avoid progress."

His colleague Colin Evans said: "This is an exciting and innovative project that will be the making of Carmarthen."

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