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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Setback for leisure complex plan
Llanberis leisure centre
The centre would include a large swimming pool
Developers' plans for an 800-job north Wales leisure complex have been dealt a blow by planners.

Gwynedd councillors have refused to extend exclusive rights to the disused Glyn Rhonwy quarry at Llanberis to the firm which wants to build on the site.

The council said it was not a statement for or against the scheme, but it was willing to talk to other developers.

The consortium, Snowdonia Gateway, said it was "extremely disappointed, frustrated and bewildered."

Snowdonia Gateway had hoped to be granted a third extension on its rights to the land - for 21 months - so that it could do more work on its plans.

I will now be seeking an early meeting with council officials and leaders, to discuss the way forward
Gwyn Pritchard, Snowdonia Gateway
Its project would cost 115m in the first phase and include indoor skiing, a water park and hotel. The company said there would be 550 jobs in the first instance, and 12m a year for the local economy.

After it met on Tuesday, councillors offered Snowdonia Gateway the chance to present its ideas to them.

Gwynedd said it had agreed to a six-month period of exclusivity for the firm in February 2004. That was followed by a six-month extension in October 2004, and another for three months earlier this year.

Llanberis
Some 12m could be generated for Llanberis' economy
But in a statement the council said: "The past few months have seen significant changes in the main elements within the proposed scheme, and this would affect the company's ability to achieve the council's vision for the site."

However, the council said its decision "will not in any way affect the application for an outline planning consent presented by the company."

'Invested funds'

Gwynedd said it would happy to talk to Snowdonia Gateway, "but in the meantime the council will also be willing to have discussions with other developers who are interested in using the site for a suitable, sustainable development, that meets local needs."

Consortium managing director Gwyn Pritchard said: "We are extremely disappointed and frustrated at this decision by board members not to renew the options we have had on the land, so that we can complete the planning application."

Mr Pritchard said Snowdonia Gateway had "diligently worked and invested considerable funds into meeting the stipulations requested by Gwynedd as add-ons to the outline planning application."

He added: "To be told, at this stage, that the land is not available to us is extremely disappointing and bewildering, considering the great investment we have made on the proposals, together with positive lengthy discussions with the council, in order to get to this stage.

"I will now be seeking an early meeting with council officials and leaders, to discuss the way forward so that the statutory planning process takes place so that everyone can have the opportunity to comment and inspect our proposals fully."

  • At the same meeting Gwynedd council's board approved plans to extend the Hafan marina at Pwllheli.

    A number of reports had been prepared by the council to assess the impact of creating a further 300 moorings on the economy, the Welsh language and the environment.

    A detailed planning application will now be drawn up and it is expected that the Dwyfor planning committee will discuss the plans in September.


  • SEE ALSO:
    Welshness 'key' to leisure plans
    07 Jun 05 |  North West Wales
    Rethink over Snowdonia ski dome
    24 Jun 03 |  North West Wales


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