Neath Port Talbot Council's planning committee has agreed unanimously to approve a request for a six-month extension of conditional outline planning permission for the proposed Afan Valley Adventure Resort to March 2020.
Initial conditional approval was granted in March 2019 for Afan Valley Ltd’s plans for 600 lodges and apartments, a 100-bed hotel and a range of adventure activities, creating the equivalent of 700 full-time jobs at a site near Croeserw.
But the planning committee was reminded in a report:
“In late June, members will be aware there was significant coverage in the press and on television concerning the alleged serious financial issues and irregularities concerning Northern Powerhouse Developments (NPD) and its Director Gavin Woodhouse, the company and person behind Afan Valley Limited.
“These allegations are serious matters requiring investigation by the police and other organisations, and have led to court decisions removing Gavin Woodhouse’s powers over Afan Valley Limited (and his other businesses) and appointing interim managers / administrators for Afan Valley Limited (Philip Duffy and Sarah Bell of the insolvency firm Duff & Phelps) to run the company.”
Following this, an appointed agent, Nineteen47, has been in regular contact with Neath Port Talbot Council officers with these ongoing discussions having been led by businessman Peter Moore, former Non-Executive Chairman of Leisure at NPD, the man who brought Center Parcs to the UK.
Mr Moore, despite stepping down from his role with NPD, has emphasised in writing and through recent actions that he remains committed to driving the project forward in conjunction with the appointed interim managers / administrators Duff & Phelps.
The business case has been presented to Zenzic Partners, experienced corporate financing specialists who will be taking the investment opportunity to the market. Zenzic Partners have confirmed there is an availability of funding options from a range of sources and that there are various live discussions with lenders which can be progressed.
This is supported by a detailed funding model and cash flow forecast.
At its meeting on Tuesday, September 24th, the Planning Committee agreed to a six month extension to enable the applicant sufficient time to sign a legal agreement which must be in place prior to the Council issuing outline planning permission for the project.
Planning committee chairman Councillor Suzanne Paddison said:
“We need to give this as much breathing room as is possible – I hope the six months will be enough.”