North West Wales

Natural Resources Wales delays Betws y Coed hydro power decision

Artist's impression of the planned hydro electric scheme at Fairy Glen Image copyright RWE Innogy UK
Image caption Artist's impression of the planned hydro electric scheme at Fairy Glen

A decision on a £12m hydro electric scheme at a beauty spot in Conwy Valley has been delayed.

RWE Innogy wants to use water from the River Conwy to supply its proposed hydro power project at Betws y Coed.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) was due to announce a decision on a water extraction permit but it has said it wants more time to consider the plans.

Developers have said the project would generate enough "green" energy to meet the needs of 3,200 houses.

Campaigners are worried half an acre of the centuries-old Fairy Glen Wood would be destroyed by the build.

In a statement, NRW said it wanted more time to look through the details before reaching a conclusion.

Snowdonia National Park Authority rejected the project's planning proposals in March.

Image copyright Phil Parsons/Flickr
Image caption Fairy Glen

NRW head of planning Richard Ninnes said an extraction permit would only be issued it it was satisfied the plans "make it clear that it can operate safely, without harming the environment or local communities".

He added: "The Conwy Valley is a rich environment, home to a diverse variety of wildlife and popular with locals and residents alike.

"This is one of the largest hydro power applications we have had to deal with and is particularly complex.

"Among the issues we have had to consider are the impact of the scheme on the river's ecology, its fish and wildlife and on other water users."

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