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 07 January 2016
From Siobhan Evans

Representation

PRIMARY CONCERNS
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. Why is a Development Consent Order is being sought before necessary discharge permissions are granted by NRW?
CONSULTATION: The Developer’s consultation efforts have seemed more like a public relations exercise not a consultation with two way exchange of views. Elected representatives at local and national level have failed to engage with critics of the scheme. The consultation process has been inadequate.
MUNITIONS: Previously classified information has been released in the Developer’s documentation about known and unknown ordnance remaining on site. A level of uncertainty about UXO, including chemical weapons has arisen which needs clarification in regard to risk to public health and safety and the environment.
WATER MONITORING: Large volumes of water will be discharged from the quarries in both constructional 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
GRID CONNECTION: The Developer gives assurances that the connection to the national grid will be underground, but there is no legal obligation. Financial and technical considerations could result in pylons being used. There should be a legal obligation to make the connection underground
RECREATIONAL: Llanberis area is very popular for outdoor recreation, including fishing and watersports for local people and visitors. 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.


SECONDARY CONCERNS
ACCESS: Some recreational users of the area around the site have indicated that the “land swap” being offered as part of this scheme is not a satisfactory arrangement.
EMPLOYMENT: The Developer’s documentation suggests 78 -118 local jobs during construction and possibly as few as 20 operational jobs may result from the scheme. This is at odds with larger numbers being circulated during local PR campaigns.
NOISE: During construction: Blasting rather than tunnelling may be necessary, and a continuous conveyor may be used to move excess material uphill. The impact of this noise has not been adequately addressed. During operation:. The potential negative impact on human health of long term exposure to low frequency noise/vibration has not been adequately addressed.
PROCEDURAL: The Developers have 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.
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.
CONSTRUCTION ISSUES: The upper site will be accessed along a narrow country road. Some residents of Waunfawr area are concerned about disturbance they will suffer but feel their views were not adequately represented by the local Community Council at the time of a flawed consultation process.
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.