Fishguard's 450-berth marina plans approved
Plans for a 450-berth marina and 250 apartments in a Pembrokeshire port town have received outline planning permission.
The project near Fishguard port, also includes shops and restaurants.
A Pembrokeshire council report said the contribution to the local economy was likely to be "significant".
The plans were welcomed but some residents expressed worries about its size.
Investment firm Conygar applied for outline planning consent.
Anglesey Boat Company was granted planning permission for a marina in Fishguard in 2003 before Conygar took over the project in 2008.
The 80-acre site (33 hectares) comprises a large proportion of the south side of Fishguard Harbour near Stena Quay, which is used for ferry services to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland.
Robert Ware the chief executive of Conygar said the planning permission gives the company "confidence to push ahead with preparing detailed proposals".
He added that during that process there would be consultation to address any issues that may still be of concern.
As a result of discussion with Sea Trust, a local community conservation group, and other interested parties, the detailed plans would incorporate a visitors centre, he added.
A report to Pembrokeshire council's planning committee said the shops, restaurants and cafes would help support the marina and would "supplement" and offer something different to the town centre.
The main part of the application includes:
- A 450-berth marina
- 253 apartments, involving 76 one-bed and 177 two-bed apartments
- 200 sq m of shops and 500 sq m of financial and professional services
- 840 sq m of restaurants and cafe space.
- A light industrial area, along with a boatyard, workshop and fishing stores.
Two breakwaters to protect the marina from waves are proposed as well.
Local MP Stephen Crabb said the planning approval was "positive news" and an injection of confidence, to spark more job opportunities.
"It comes at a time when regeneration and investment in Fishguard is needed now more than ever," he said.
Local resident Margaret Patterson said there was concern about the size of the development.
"252 houses/units which are principally aimed at the boating community are not what we want.
"It'll create an enclave that will create like a satellite in that area that local people will not have anything to do with," she said.
Ian Davies, route director of Stena Line, called the planning approval "exciting" due to the prospective benefits it could bring for local "regeneration, tourism and job creation".
Meanwhile, a 20-acre (eight hectares) strip of land could be used for the port's expansion or for community and tourism projects.
Last December, a lobster hatchery, maritime museum and sea zoo were said to be part of the marina proposals.