Angling Trust and Fish Legal help to see off controversial hydro scheme
Plans to build a controversial hydro scheme on the iconic Conwy Falls in the Snowdonia National Park have been withdrawn following strong objections submitted by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, working with local member angling clubs and representatives of the ‘Save the Conwy’ campaign.
The applicant - Innogy Renewables UK Ltd – was faced with a barrage of objection from all quarters including conservationists, canoeists and anglers. The company announced that it was withdrawing its application for planning consent a week and a half after the consultation closed, stating that it had made the decision after being asked for further information late on.
The withdrawal means that the huge number of objections from people both locally and nationally will no longer have to be considered by the Snowdonia National Parks Authority. The plans for the hydro scheme were originally submitted in 2015 but refused by the National Park planners due to a lack of key information. This re-submitted application therefore remains untested.
Geoff Hardy, advice lawyer with Fish Legal, said: “I was impressed at the amount of work put in from all quarters to see this misconceived project off. People seemed to concentrate on commenting on subjects they knew and cared passionately about. As a result, the objectors’ case, taken as a whole seemed to fit together like a well-cut jigsaw.”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “Fish stocks face a huge range of threats including agricultural pollution, over-abstraction of water and commercial netting. The rush to grab generous subsidies for hydropower has been yet another problem for migratory fish populations throughout the country.
"These schemes generate irrelevant amounts of energy in the grand scheme of things but they can do untold damage to fish and other wildlife, and despoil the beauty of the landscape. The National Park should never have entertained the possibility of permitting power generation in such a special place.”
Fish Legal was making representations on behalf of the Betws-y-Coed Anglers Club, Llanwrst Anglers Club , Plas Madoc Angling Association and Dolwyddelan Angling Club.