Green light for Surf Snowdonia expansion

Plans for an activity centre and 106-bedroom hotel at the Surf Snowdonia Adventure Parc can proceed after Conwy Council’s planning committee gave a “minded to approve” verdict yesterday.

The scheme had been recommended for refusal by officers, on grounds including flood risk, drainage, land contamination, ecology, residential amenity, highways and planning obligations. Officers said “the development should not be approved until the associated social and environmental impacts have been fully addressed”.

However, the applicant addressed those points in additional documentation provided for the committee in the days before the meeting and the scheme, designed by Pozzoni, can progress once agreements are completed around developer obligations.

As Place reported in July, Martin Ainscough’s Ainscough Group, owner of the  Dolgarrog adventure park, is looking to double the size of the park’s workforce by expanding its activities and facilities. The park opened in 2015 featuring a 300-metre surf lagoon and associated amenities – the new five-storey activity centre is effectively an expansion on an existing facility.

New facilities, along with the four-storey, four-star hotel are to include a zip line, events space, spa, slides and climbing facilities, with the aspiration being to open in 2020. Existing camping pods are to be relocated an a mountain bike track and adventure playground introduced.

The committee heard an objection from Catherine Mortimer Hart of Conwty Valley Civic Society, who said that in effect, the the hotel development would swallow up the increased tourist spend that the park has brought to the area since opening four years ago. She also described the hotel as “intrusive” in scale, with an “urban appearance”.

Andrew Ainscough of Surf Snowdonia spoke in favour. He said that the park has to date attracted 600,000 visitors and provides 140 jobs at peak times, adding that the development will make the operation more of a year-round operation.

Fourteen objections and six letters of support were submitted in total.

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