Tourism board questions housing plan for Anglesey nuclear build

North Wales Tourism is calling for a review of Horizon Nuclear Power’s proposals to house construction workers in the island’s holiday accommodation during the building of Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station.

Last month Horizon opened the third consultation stage for Wylfa Newydd, with changes to earlier proposals including removing plans for a worker’s village to be built by Land & Lakes, replacing it with a temporary campus at the build site.

Horizon said that the total number of construction workers will be a thousand fewer in number than once anticipated, reaching a peak of 9,000 “for a few months” in late 2023.

The workers’ campus would be built in phases, providing 2,500 beds, rising to 4,000 if required. Any additional beds would be found in Anglesey’s holiday and private rental accommodation.

Jim Jones, managing director of North Wales Tourism, said Horizon’s revised plans have led to concerns that if holiday accommodation is taken up by construction workers, Anglesey’s tourism sector could be adversely impacted in the long-term.

Jones said: “The Wylfa Newyd development is a huge investment into the economy of Anglesey and it has the potential to be a great catalyst project. But there is also a risk that, if thousands of workers are housed in holiday accommodation across the island, this could be a backward step for our tourism industry.”

Tourism is one of Anglesey’s main sources of employment and revenue. The sector employs around 4,000 people and generates in the region of £260m every year. The island welcomes more than 1.5m holidaymakers every year.

A statement from Horizon said that workers based off-site would only take up 3% of Anglesey’s available supply.

In two previous versions of its plans, Horizon had indicated that it would accommodate up to 3,500 construction workers in a purpose-built village complex at Kingsland and Cae Glas, on the outskirts of Holyhead. The village would then have been converted to holiday accommodation once the construction of Wylfa was complete.

Richard Foxhall, stakeholder relations manager for Horizon, said: “We are very aware of concerns in the accommodation sector and welcome further feedback on these during this period of consultation. However, we firmly believe that our refined proposals, which will see construction workers accommodated at one site rather than five, will be easier to manage and reduces possible impacts more widely across the island.

“These proposals, which have been developed in light of feedback received through previous consultations, will enable us to accommodate up to 4,000 workers on site, meaning that the demand on off-site accommodation will be around 3% of the total available supply.

“The first phase, of 1,000 beds at the site campus will be ready for occupation in 2020 ahead of the main construction workforce arriving, ensuring there is no adverse effect. Additional modules will be added as the workforce increases.”

North Wales Tourism, alongside the Anglesey Tourism Association and the Destination Anglesey Partnership, will host an open consultation day for Anglesey tourism sector on the 15 June, at which it said it will offer Anglesey tourism businesses to agree a mandate which will then be expressed to Welsh Government. A further statement is expected after this meeting.

Horizon’s consultation runs until 22 June. Members of the public can view the plans here:

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