Glyn Rhonwy Pumped Storage

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Glyn Rhonwy Pumped Storage

Received 10 January 2016
From Garry Smith


Here are my concerns about the proposal

NOISE - During the construction phase blasting may be necessary and a continuous conveyor belt has been proposed to move excess material uphill. The impact of this noise has not been adequately addressed. During actual operation, the potential negative impact on human health of long term exposure to low frequency noise/vibration has not been adequately addressed. During the autumn of 2015, the noise from test drilling far exceed the developers anticipated levels. It was most audible by households on the opposite side of the valley, a distance of 2 km away. Despite complaints to Gwynedd Council the developres continued to drill, often outside of the permitted times (e.g. Saturday evenings). The Developer's estimation of contruction noise levels are grossly inaccurate, particulary concerning the accustics (sound directions) of the valley.

CONSULTATION - The developer’s consultation efforts have been inadequate and not a recognised consultation with any two way exchange of views. The main benifits of the scheme pushed by the developer during the consultation show were 'local jobs' and 'energy security for Llanberis', the latter being completely misleading and infact untrue. Elected representatives at local and county level are whole heartedly in favour of this scheme and did not engage with any local residents who objected to the scheme. The consultation process has been inadequate.

WATER MONITORING - Large volumes of water will be discharged from the quarries during both construction and operational phases and could carry harmful chemicals. This could have a profound effect on downstream water catchment areas. Proposals for monitoring and controlling this discharge are inadequate. The immediate area is very popular for outdoor recreation, especially watersports for local people and visitors (recently awarded safe bathing water staus by the Welsh Govt). Any degradation of the environment arising from this scheme, particularly water quality for swimming or fishing, could have a negative effect on this important part of the local economy.

PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITY - The Developer has gone about the promotion of this scheme in a piecemeal fashion. Fortuitous preparation of the lower site by Gwynedd Council, then application for Planning Permission to this same body then this application to the UKPI for a larger scheme, and applying for this DCO without a water discharge consent from NRW seems disingenuous.

REGULATION - Mitigation of environmental and other risks associated with the scheme will depend on effective monitoring and regulation. Assurance is sought that regulation and enforcement, particularly by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will be effective (recent revelations through an FOI request have demonstrated NRW's inaction on monitoring abstraction licences on nearby hydro schemes). Why is a Development Consent Order is being sought before necessary discharge permissions are granted by NRW?

CONSIDERATION OF ALTERNATIVES - The Environmental Statement does not adequately consider the alternative of doing nothing, or of simply enlarging the similar but much larger scheme just across the valley at Dinorwig with far less risk to the local environment.

FLOOD RISK - Risks due to flooding are not considered adequately with regard to residents directly in the flowpath. They do not adequately address the possibility of catastrophic and sudden loss of containment for example due to large scale collapse of a quarry wall into upper or lower ponds. Recent December rainfall levels were at the highest ever recorded in the valley. All pools (pits) on the Glyn Rhonwy site were at their maximum level with seemiingly no capacity to absorb further water. If two of these pools are to be made effectively 'water tight' there is nothing within the developer's flood risk assessment that deals with the now not-so-unthinkable even higher-level of monthly rainfall than that experienced in December.