Following on from the article in Summit, written by Ray Wood, highlighting the issues surrounding the number of Hydro-Electric schemes being built in Snowdonia, there have been a number of significant developments surrounding these proposals.
Firstly, the highly controversial plans to construct a hydro-electric scheme at Conwy Falls, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a highly valued natural landscape feature of the National Park, located near Betws y Coed has been withdrawn by the developers. This was in light of a review of the environmental data that suggested that the special features of the site could be damaged by the development and would, therefore, in all likelihood not get planning permission. In addition, Natural Resources Wales were unwilling to issue an abstraction licence as the impact on the water catchment of a major river in the National Park could be detrimentally affected.
Surprisingly, despite this, the landowners (The National Trust) continued to support the proposal, being the only major conservation body to do so as, in their own words, “the development would be less intrusive with their support than if they were not involved”; a comment that caused raised eyebrows with other conservation bodies.
Elsewhere, the National Trust (NT) has suggested that they have been looking at a number of rivers and streams in Snowdonia with a view to constructing hydro-schemes on them, including a number in the Ogwen Valley that could have significant impact on the upland landscape there.
Among the rivers and streams being looked at are those that flow from the valley directly below Tryfan (Nant Cwm Tryfan) and the adjacent valley of Nant yr Ogof, as well as the stream that flows from below Y Garn (Afon Cywion) and which is highly visible from the A5 and adjacent hills. However, they also state that they do not intend to pursue a similar scheme on the river that flows from Ffynon Lloer (directly opposite the north ridge of Tryfan) on the Carneddau mountains. The NT have, however, stated that they will consult fully with all groups before submitting their proposals here, probably in early April.
In the meantime, they have stated that they intend to start construction work on Afon Llagi on the slopes north of Cnicht, the so-called “Welsh Matterhorn” mountain in early April this year, which has attracted a considerable amount of local opposition as the information day for this was only held in early February.
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