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 26 December 2015
From Tom Hutton

Representation

I am a local resident and run a business based on tourism in the area (mountain biking and walking guiding).
I am worried about this development on a number of levels, the biggest being the impact it will have on the natural environment in the area. The hill of Cefn Du is much-loved by locals. It is riddles with tracks and trails that provides accessible breathing space for all kinds of people, unlike much of the national park, where the mountainous nature of the ground makes many areas inaccessible. The hill will be effectively out of bounds during the construction period and then less accessible afterwards.
The works will be a blot on the landscape, and will adversely affect access and enjoyment of people who climb nearby Moel Eilio – widely thought of as one of the best view points in Wales.
The traffic that will need to access the development will make life a misery for Waunfawr residents, in a village which has incredibly narrow roads. And the increased noise will affect all residents during construction and potentially afterwards too.
There are also rare, protected bird species nesting in the area including peregrine falcons and choughs, and I have always thought that there was a duty to protect the known breeding sites of these birds?
Lower down, in Llanberis, there is potential that a local beauty spot will be spoiled forever, with a huge risk of pollution from ammunition stored in the area.
This would have a catastrophic effect on the local people and the economy. Llyn Padarn is used by people of all ages, both locals and visitors, for swimming, boating of various types and just for socialising in the summer. This is like a beach for Llanberis and vital to the economy.
This could be out of bounds during construction, potentially adversely affecting tourism. And could potentially be lost for good if there is a pollution problem caused by the munition store.
And last but not least, I am suspicious of the ability of the developer to carry out the work in line with its own policies or the planning permission it receives. It seems slightly disingenuous to apply to our local council for permission for a small scheme, one so small in fact that most locals felt it would never be financially viable so didn't worry too much about, and then once approved, to suggest the capacity can be doubled to a size where it would be viable and one that locals would have spoken out against.
The work carried out so far has flown in the face of the company’s own environmental policies, including drilling work outside the dates agreed to protect nesting birds and closing off public rights of way without permission. If they have been incapable of sticking to the letter of their own policies so far, what are they going to be like if and when real work starts?
This is a deprived area that relies on tourism, particularly outdoor tourism, for most of its income. There are many ways that this scheme could damage the local environment and the tourism that depends upon it. And if it did so, it would have a huge economic impact that would far outweigh any jobs created by it, either in construction or long term.
I personally would urge you to consider this too big a risk and to refuse permission for the scheme.