A bridge too far

We have today submitted our comments on planning application NP5/59/495A for a 600kW capacity hydropower scheme in Cwm Cynfal, Llanffestiniog.

You can read our comments here:  Cwm Cynfal hydro NP5 59 495A

Almost 100 such schemes have been permitted in Snowdonia in the past 5 years.  We have objected to a small number of these where they threaten significant harm to the landscape, wildlife or public enjoyment of the National Park. This scheme would be likely to have significant impacts on the special qualities of Cwm Cynfal.

We have concerns about a number of impacts, including:

  • on public access during its construction, when a 300m section of Public Footpath 22 and the Snowdonia Slate Trail would have to be diverted, though we cannot see how this can be done safely.
  • diminished public enjoyment of the river, the waterfalls and the Cwm itself for the duration of its operation (probably several decades), by introducing new built structures including an 80ft long metal pipe-crossing across the gorge.  The image above is a photomontage from the application documents.
  • Severely reduced flow in almost a mile of the river, including the five falls of Rhaeadr y Cwm,  which would be reduced year-round by 70% of natural flows above a tiny residual allowance.

We will keep a close eye on this proposal and keep you informed of any developments.

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