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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Snowdon 'slum' facelift approved
Snowdon cafe models
Plans for a makeover of the cafe have proved popular
A building named by Prince Charles as Wales's "highest slum" is to be given a 5m makeover.

Plans to redevelop the cafe at the summit of Snowdon were unanimously approved by members of the Snowdonia National Park Authority on Wednesday.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles criticised the present building

They were told a consultation process showed overwhelming approval of the new design, but modifications will be made before planning approval is sought from the Welsh Assembly.

It is hoped the project will be completed by the end of 2005, but the authority will have to employ a funding consultant to raise the money.

The cafe complex and former hotel provides shelter for 350,000 visitors and walkers every year.

It was originally designed by Sir Clough Williams Ellis, the architect of the Italianate village of Portmeirion.

Delapidated building

However, the large concrete bunker built in 1936 has made it on to Prince Charles's list of "carbuncles" and been labelled an eyesore.

The renovation plan drawn up by architects Furneaux Stewart was unveiled in December 2001, after the park authority failed to raise 5m needed to replace the building.

Walkers on Snowdon
Walkers welcome the chance of a hot drink

It was said to be less ambitious and less costly than previous proposals.

The architects had previously been involved in the Welsh National Botanic Gardens in Carmarthenshire and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Public meetings were held in Llanberis and Beddgelert as part of the consultation process.

The proposal has also been welcomed by the Snowdonia Society, a charitable organisation of 2,700 members.

It urged all relevant funding bodies to make finance available for the redevelopment.

Cedric Milner, the society's chairman, said: "It would be tragic for Snowdon and all who visit if this opportunity to improve the summit buildings was to be missed."

In 1997, a survey in the Snowdon area found more than 75% questioned thought the cafe building should be replaced.

They also thought the new building should provide shelter, public toilets and refreshements for visitors.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Glen Goodman
"The feeling here is one of utter relief"
See also:

09 Feb 01 | Wales
27 Oct 99 | Wales
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