North West Wales

Attempt to reopen airfield in Snowdonia

Llanbedr airfield
Image caption The airfield was built in 1938 and used during World War II

A new attempt is being made to allow a former military air base in Snowdonia to reopen as a civilian airfield.

The site at Llanbedr employed 130 people at the time it was closed in 2004.

Last year, Llanbedr Airfield Estates (LAE) announced it wanted to use the land for private flights and let empty buildings for business use.

And although that application was refused, new efforts are under way.

LAE applied for a certificate of lawful use, confirming that because the site had been an airfield in the past, it could reopen without planning permission.

Now, the Welsh Assembly Government is making a new application for a certificate as Welsh ministers became the freehold holders of the site in 2006 when they took over the old Welsh Development Agency following WAG's merger with the WDA.

In a statement, the assembly government said the economic development minister has been asked to agree to an application "or more than one application if necessary" being made in the name of the Welsh ministers for a certificate of lawfulness to "confirm the existing planning uses of Llanbedr Airfield."

The application - or applications - will be made to Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) as planning authority for the area.

The authority received 27 applications on behalf of LAE previously and the Snowdonia Society lodged formal objections.

The developer says if the new bid succeeds, it would still be willing to go ahead with plans for the site.

LAE was formed by Kemble Air Services, which runs Cotswold Airport at Cirencester in Gloucestershire.

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