Application lodged for new forest park campsite
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
An application has been lodged to develop a campsite at a popular forest park and change its visitor centre into a cafe.
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC) has applied to change the use of the visitor centre at the Afan Forest Park – known locally as the Afan Argoed Park – to a stand alone cafe or restaurant.
The application also includes a proposal to add three campervan electric hook-up points at the car park and a campsite for up to 10 pitches at the rear of the visitor centre.
A NPTCBC spokesperson said: “The application has yet to be determined and will be discussed at an upcoming planning committee meeting.
“The council is currently seeking tenders for the running of the visitor centre and associated facilities at Afan Forest Park.”
A determination deadline for the application has been given for March 31, 2022.
Only last month NPTCBC councillors voiced their desire to see more provision for campers in the county borough, pointing to the rise in popularity of staycations and campervan ownership.
At a Regeneration and Sustainable Development Scrutiny Committee meeting, a number of council members said they would like to see more campervan electric hookup points and that the county borough.
Missing a trick
One of these members, Cllr Scott Bamsey said the county borough was “missing a trick” in not having more provision and highlighted that other areas in Wales like the Gower and Tenby were “flooded with camping facilities”.
The Afan Valley will soon be the location of a major new adventure park after the council granted conditional planning permission for the project to go ahead.
It is believed that the project – the first of a planned series of UK leisure developments under the Wildfox Resorts brand – could create hundreds of jobs.
Conditional approval for the Salamanca Group to progress the project to its next stages was granted by members of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Planning Committee on October 12 last year.
This was subject to the signing of legally binding agreements – to provide a solar farm, mitigate ecological impacts and contribute £180,000 towards the nearby national cycle network route – which has now been done.
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