PLANS have been submitted for a £100m waterfront development - one of the largest being considered in the UK - which could transform an historic Welsh port.
However there are concerns the proposals, involving nearly 500 new homes, are catering for wealthy outsiders, and that much of the development's features would be beyond the reach of people who have been born and bred in the town.
A planning application has been submitted to Pembrokeshire County Council for the huge marina-based project near the heart of Pembroke Dock, which sits on the Cleddau estuary.
The town has a rich maritime history, but is now known for its industrial activity.
However developers believe the Martello Quays project would radically overhaul its image.
Features of the plan include 260 marina berths, with 450 homes, mainly apartments, including 140 houses with a waterfront view and potential marina berth. There would also be a factory outlet, a chandlery shop, a hotel, a five-screen multiplex cinema, a pub-restaurant, more shops and 250 marina car park spaces.
The scheme is based on a high degree of public access including a public promenade. A number of public viewing points would also be incorporated throughout the marina within a new harbour.
However one local Assembly Member is worried the development could be seen as elitist, in an area where locals are already struggling to cope with rising house prices, and increasing demand for rented accommodation.
Mid and West Wales AM Helen Mary Jones said, "While investment should be welcomed, it should be done so with caution.
"Questions must be asked about how many local people will actually use this facility and I have concerns about whether the new housing will be in the price range of anybody in Pembroke Dock and the surrounding area."
The development is being supported by Milford Haven Port Authority, Pembrokeshire County Council, the Assembly's Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks and The Crown Estate.
Martello Quays Ltd - a coalition of investment, project development and design companies - has been chosen to carry out the work and has submitted the application.
It has run its ideas past the Design Commission for Wales along with other extensive consultation, with the project having been altered considerable since early visions produced in 2004.
Developers say the plan would make sure the complex would be strongly linked to the town centre, and be a genuine part of the local community.
They have also insisted it will be as environmentally friendly as possible. It would be built outside a nearby European Special Area of Conservation covering much of the area, has been designed to minimise dredging requirements, and its homes would be as energy efficient as possible. It would also will provide significant flood protection to the town, they say.
Ted Sangster, chief executive of Milford Haven Port Authority, believes the submission of the planning application is a massive step forward.
"This is the result of many years of hard work behind the scenes and a heavy investment and commitment by the Martello Quays Ltd to get this far," he said.
He said more consultation during the planning process would include a public drop-in question and answer session with developers in April.
"Whilst the planning application is actually for the detail of the engineering works such as the sea wall and lock, most public interest will probably be in the accompanying design document," Mr Sangster added.
"This sets out proposals for 450 homes, mainly apartments, but including some 140 houses each with a waterfront view and potential marina berth.
"It also indicates a small specialist retail development linked to the existing town centre, a cinema, hotel and provision for public parking in a decked car park."
Space for more than 350 boats is planned, with more facilities for visiting yachts.
Mr Sangster said
consideration of the planning application was expected to take some six months and, if successful, developers would then look at financial and legal issues before starting.