Plans for a £130m adventure resort in the Upper Afan Valley creating 970 jobs and offering a 100-bed hotel and spa plus 600 holiday lodges have been given conditional approval by Neath Port Talbot Councillors.
Rock climbing, white water rafting, a Bear Grylls Survival Academy, a zip wire, swimming pool, cinema, shops, paintballing, alpine sports facilities and five restaurants are also planned for the 325-acre resort at Pen-y-Bryn, Croeserw.
Applicants Afan Valley Ltd expect to have an annual wage bill of around £13m for the 970 full and part-time jobs they aim to create at the site
Members of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Planning Committee approved outline plans for the proposal when they met on Tuesday (March 19th) following an earlier visit to the site of the planned new resort.
It will feature a central plaza and an existing track running through the centre of the site from west to east will be upgraded to form a spine road which will allow vehicular access to each zone for drop-offs and for servicing.
A 133-page report by Neath Port Talbot Council planning officers – who recommended approval of the plans – said:
“The applicant has the experience of raising the necessary capital required to fund such an operation through an extremely effective financial model.
“Alongside the Bear Grylls Survival Academy (which plans to set up its European training headquarters in the resort), they have secured partners including Jaguar Land Rover, Neuman Aqua, Snowflex and Go Ape!
“In addition, they have secured the services of leisure booking experts Landal GreenParks – the largest resort operator in Europe – to manage the resort’s accommodation.”
The applicants predict more than 250,000 people a year will visit the resort and they expect to make significant profits. If granted permission they would hope to establish the majority of the resort by 2021.
The officers’ report adds:
“It’s concluded the development would not have a significant impact on highway and pedestrian safety, pollution, the setting of historic assets or foul and surface water discharges, and subject to detailed design at reserved matters stage, there would be no detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding area or the residential amenity of neighbouring dwellings.
“While the development would have significant adverse impacts on the landscape and biodiversity, and other identified residual impacts, these can be mitigated or compensated to a lesser or greater extent by legal agreement and conditions.
“In any event, the development would significantly benefit the aspirations and key principles for socio-economic growth in the region, acting as a major contributor to the local economy through the provision of a strategic tourist destination, to the extent that these benefits, subject to compliance with conditions and the signing of a required legal agreement, would outweigh the identified environmental impacts of the development.”