And so ends one of the most turbulent years in our history. 2021 has brought with it more challenges and successes than we ever thought possible. Lockdowns, restrictions and a booming housing market.
We are proud that we managed to maintain our high levels of service, achieved higher sales than ever before, and kept up with this ever changing pandemic.
We recognise that the pandemic is not yet over, and there are hurdles we are still yet to meet, but we are ready for them! We have just installed a new state of the art telecoms system ensuring we can improve on our service levels and we can be available from wherever we may have to work from. Our computer system is being upgraded to match this in the early part of the year, and we are forever making updates to our software system and website.
Our staff and partner companies have worked exceptionally hard this year, and we want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for making 2021 and our 29th year the success it has been.
Next year is a big one for West Wales Properties as we celebrate our 30th anniversary with some exciting announcements and developments.
If 2022 is the year for you to make a property change, we are here for you, in person or virtually. Call 01437 762626 to book an appraisal or have advice from one of our helpful staff.
We were lucky enough to come across this photo of Dark Gate leading to Lammas street in Carmarthen from the early 20th century. How times have changed, where there once stood a Tailors, our Carmarthen office now stands in prime position.
We love seeing old photographs of our offices and learning more about their history, so please if you have some, feel free to email them to email@example.com.
Get your game face on.Neil Evans our managing director discusses what it takes to be a winner in the property event.
The property market has some interesting parallels with the Olympic Games. Hand-in-hand with glorious success can come bitter disappointment when things go unexpectedly wrong. Preparation and training are everything. Like Olympic competitors, the more prepared and event-ready home buyers and sellers are the fewer things there will be to go wrong.
But sometimes events are beyond anyone’s control. So, like any great Olympian, it’s best to concentrate fully on things one can control.
Equipment Sellers’ equipment is their property. This should be in tiptop condition – with no nasty surprises lurking for buyers – and should be presented and priced to sell. Buyers need funds to be fully in place.
Mental Preparation Both parties need to know the rules of the game and understand what can go wrong. This will help to calm nerves and avoid making costly mistakes when there are unforeseen bumps in the road.
Support team Any Olympic champion will tell you that the support of a great coach and backroom team are essential for success. Think of your estate agent as a coach. And don’t forget your other support, including a great conveyancing solicitor and a talented mortgage broker. Together they will make sure you are at your competitive best.
Understanding the prevailing conditions Olympic sailors are brilliant at reading the weather. Property buyers and sellers need to be just as good at reading the market. Interpreting the conditions correctly has never been more important as we come out of the Covid pandemic.
As we move into the autumn market, buyers and sellers should ensure they are in the best condition to succeed. Sometimes finding the perfect home or buyer does boil down to luck. But as any gold medallist would say, the more you train, the luckier you become.
THERE have been no new cases of coronavirus recorded in Pembrokeshire today, Sunday, June 7, figures from Public Health Wales reveal.
In the Hywel Dda health board area there has been one new case recorded today in Carmarthenshire.
The figures show that there have been no new deaths from the virus in the Hywel Dda area in the last 24 hours. With the figure remaining at 62 across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
Across Wales, 40 further cases of coronavirus were reported today. Bringing the total number of people in Wales who have had the virus to 14,396.
Five more people in Wales were reported as having died of the virus today, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,398.
Dr Chris Williams, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said that contact tracing in Wales continued as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy.
Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who have come in contact with an individual with Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in order to prevent the risk of others spreading the infection in our communities.
Anyone who has a positive Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) test will be contacted by a team of contact tracers, and asked for details of everyone they have had close contact with while they have had symptoms.
Dr Williams asked the public to keep a note of their activities so they can easily remember your whereabouts on a given day, along with who were in contact with.
“If you are asked to self-isolate, you should also comply with this request to prevent further spread of the virus,” he said.
“You do not need to have any concerns about providing names to the tracing team. Tracers are trained staff and personal information that you provide will handled in line with data protection regulations and will not be shared widely.
“Over the last few weeks, Public Health Wales has been setting up the methods and guidance for how contact tracing will operate. We will continue to work closely to support local health boards and local authorities in delivering contact tracing.”
He reminded people that the Welsh Government’s revised lockdown arrangements also continue. People from two different households in the same local area can meet up outdoors, provided they continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene.
As a general rule, people should not travel more than five miles from home. This will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading as people begin to travel more.
People who have been told to shield are also now able to go outside and meet people from another household, provided they keep a two-metre distance.
“Future relaxation of lockdown measures will also be dependent on everyone following advice set out in the ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy, including self-isolating when required,” he said.
Information about the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) to look out for is available on the Public Health Wales website, or members of the public can use the NHS Wales symptom checker.
Anyone experiencing Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms can now apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal.
Dr Williams advised people to only call 999 if they were experiencing a life-threatening emergency.
“Do not call 999 just because you are on hold to 111. We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait,” he said.
“We also want to reinforce the message from NHS Wales that urgent and emergency care services for physical and mental health are still open and accessible.”
He said that parents of ill children should seek help and those with urgent dental pain should still call their dentist.
“If you have a health complaint that is worrying you and won’t go away you should call your GP practice,” he said.
“If you or a family member are seriously ill or injured you should dial 999 or attend your nearest Emergency Department.”
A CARDIGAN school teacher has made 655 visors for frontline health workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Emyr James, head of the design faculty at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, has been hard at work producing the visors with his sons in the school workshop over the last couple of weeks.
Produced on the school’s 3-D printer, more than 200 have been delivered to NHS and key workers locally – the rest are being taken to the community centre at Felinfach where they will be distributed by Ceredigion County Council.
Similar projects are also taking place at other schools across Ceredigion, including Ysgol Bro Teifi at Llandysul under the direction of Mr Walters, as well as Ysgol Bro Pedr and Ysgol Penglais,
Meinir Ebbsworth, corporate lead officer for schools at Ceredigion County Council said: “We are extremely grateful to our staff who are using their expertise and school equipment to help others.
“Ceredigion County Council is proud of the contribution that our schools are making during this difficult and challenging times, and to all our staff and volunteers who have shown such goodwill to help others.”
Then why not film your own house with your mobile phone, and use an estate agent that can market those videos via e-film (instant text message / email / website / social media) despite the coronavirus lockdown?
The deadline is nearing for public comments on Pembrokeshire County Council’s replacement Local Development Plan – known as the Deposit Plan.
The public consultation on the Deposit Plan opened in January and will end at 4.30pm on Wednesday, 18th March.
The consultation has included seven drop-in sessions at locations around the county. Cllr Jon Harvey, Cabinet Member for Planning, said they had been well-attended and thanked members of the public for their feedback.
“We would encourage anyone interested in the future development of Pembrokeshire to participate in the consultation if they haven’t yet done so,” he added.
The Deposit Plan and related documents are available to view on the Council’s website at: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/local-development-plan-review/deposit
The Deposit Plan covers the area of Pembrokeshire excluding the National Park.
It identifies a need for 6,800 new homes between 2017 and 2033 (425 a year) including 2,000 affordable homes. This growth will be distributed across the Plan area in accordance with a whole County strategy, which promotes sustainable development.
Residents can look at the Deposit Plan text and maps to view proposals in their area. The Plan proposes revised town and village boundaries (known as settlement boundaries) and a range of sites are allocated for different land uses, including 70 sites for housing. It also identifies a range of industrial sites (known as Strategic Employment Sites), local employment sites and two quarry sites.
The Deposit Plan seeks to respond to the challenges of climate change by including policies and designations to protect sites and species that are of importance for their biodiversity and nature conservation interest, open spaces and Green Wedges.
New growth is directed to sustainable locations. Proposals for vulnerable uses are directed away from flood risk areas and new development will be limited in areas at risk because of climate change. All new dwellings will be built to high quality, energy efficient designs and will incorporate charging points for ultra-low emission vehicles. Three sites are allocated for solar photovoltaic arrays.
The Deposit Plan and related documents are available to view on the Council’s website at: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/local-development-plan-review/deposit
Hard copies are also available at County Hall, Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire County Council Customer Service Centres and in local Libraries, during normal opening hours.
If you wish to have your say on the Deposit Plan you can do so using the Representations Form available online at the above website address, or in paper format from County Hall, Haverfordwest. This form should be used for making comments wherever possible.
Please email your representation forms to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to The Development Plans Team, County Hall, Freeman’s Way, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 1TP by 4.30pm on Wednesday, 18th March 2020.
PEMBROKESHIRE Beach Food Company’s Café Môr has been awarded a prestigious artisan food award.
The award was given by food and drink journalist and broadcaster Nigel Barden and cooking appliance manufacturer Britannia.
Set up nine years ago by Jonathan Williams, and joined a year later by Susan Davenport, the Pembroke Dock-based company is an ethical seafood supplier specialising in seaweed and laverbread products.
Nigel said: “The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company’s welsh sea black butter is a fabulous product from a fascinating company – I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. The bedrock is a creamy, nicely salted organic local butter but the addition of laver seaweed provides an extra rockpool of seaside flavour but in a controlled, subtle manner.
“The whole Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company’s range is impressive. A huge amount of work has gone into its development and it captures the flavour of a centuries-old ingredient – seaweed – but in a colourful, modern, cleverly packaged fashion.”
The Britannia Artisan Food Collection launched at the end of last year in Wales. The public was invited to nominate artisan food producers from across the country. A shortlist was chosen by Nigel Barden and awarded a place on Britannia’s Artisan Food Collection map, before a top three were chosen and a winner awarded.
MILFORD Haven School are proud to be launching ‘Chat Benches’ within the community that serves their school catchment area.
If you walk through Milford Haven, Neyland or Johnston in the coming weeks you will notice some new benches with an exciting twist. The ‘Happy to Chat’ bench will say: sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello.
These benches are clearly marked so that people are encouraged to take a seat and start a conversation.
More than nine million people in the UK say they “often or always” feel lonely, according to the British Red Cross, and in 2013 then-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described loneliness as “our national shame.”
The geography of Pembrokeshire means that many residents are at an increased risk of loneliness and social isolation, and it is hoped that the ‘Chat Benches’ will offer a platform to start up conversations and strengthen links within communities, reducing the disconnect that some local residents might feel from the world around them.
Public benches like these can be a real asset to help improve people’s mental health and social wellbeing.
They serve as resting places for those with limited mobility, and a study published by the university of Sheffield in 2015 found sitting on benches allows people to spend longer outside, which is beneficial for mental health and connects them with others in their community. This is particularly important for people who find popular social venues like cafes too expensive.
Ms Mansell said: “I love the fact that as a community we now have designated spaces for people to take a moment, reflect, and connect, especially in a society that often never seems to stop and be present.”
Ms Morris, Headteacher of Milford Haven School said she was excited that they were able to base a ‘Chat Bench’ at the secondary School. She added: “Although loneliness is often talked about as an issue that affects the elderly, we know that young people can also at times feel alone and may need a safe place to reach out and connect with those around them.
“Tomorrow (February 6, 2020), is national ‘Time to Talk’ day, the perfect day we feel to launch our ‘Chat Benches’ and get the conversations flowing.”
One bench is to go to Johnston, one to Neyland, two to Milford Haven and one to be based at the school.
Milford Haven Town Council has already discussed the benches at their last meeting on Monday (January 27), and they agreed to invite organisations from the area to express an interest in having one of the benches.
8-year old Riley absolutely adores koalas and is devastated with the current situation in Australia, and will be running 3 miles non-stop in the coming weeks to raise £100 to help the brave people that are trying to save his favourite animal.
Riley’s mum, Tressa Devine (a beloved member of the West Wales Properties team for over 10 years!), shared that he has blown through his original target, and has so far managed to raise a whopping £325.00!
THE proposed Dyfi Bridge on the A487 north of Machynlleth, has been given the go ahead by the Welsh Government.
The £46m scheme will improve road safety, strengthen links between communities, provide active travel opportunities and build resilience against flooding, as well as improve transport connectivity to help stimulate further economic development.
The scheme will include traffic calming and improved drainage on the A493 immediately north of the bridge to protect the existing cottages, and there will be a flood bund constructed to protect the Dyfi Eco Park from river flooding.
The removal of large scale traffic from the 19th century bridge and provision of a walking and cycle path will improve active travel opportunities increasing the attraction of Machynlleth and surrounding area as a tourist destination.
Ken Skates, Minister for the economy and transport, said: “The A487 is a key route between North and South Wales linking Gwynedd, Powys, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. It is also an important local route providing access to the amenities and services of Machynlleth.
The next stage will include detailed design works and further ground investigation work. Construction could begin in Summer 2020, subject to the statutory process, with completion by Summer 2022.