County planners refuse application for car park near south Wales’ highest waterfall
Elgan Hearn – Local Democracy Reporter
Plans for an overflow car park, which has already been partly created, near a tourist attraction in the southern tip of Powys have been refused by county planners.
At 90 feet high Henrhyd Falls is the highest waterfall in south Wales and is located on National Trust land.
In April 2022, the National Trust submitted the partially retrospective planning application for the car park near Henrhyd Falls, Coelbren near Ystradgynlais.
This is due to visitors parking on the side of the roads leading to the waterfall, building the car park is seen as a solution to stopping the congestion.
Six objections and one letter of support were lodged with the application.
The objections were due to concerns about noise, pollution, pedestrian safety, loss of views and character of the area.
The council’s Highways Authority (HA) were consulted as part of the process and said: “Unfortunately it is clear that the suggested provision is not Active Travel (walking and cycling) compliant.”
They also say that there is no road crossing provision in the plans.
Powys HA said: “The proposals will provide very limited benefit to those users being directed to use the car park, necessitating visitors/families to have to walk some 75 metres within the narrow road, from the car park to Dol Henrhyd Bridge, and a further 200 metres within the narrow road onto the site itself.
“Whilst acknowledging the benefits that additional appropriate off-street parking would deliver to the area, in the absence of such suitable links, the HA regrettably maintains that the proposal is contrary to policies.”
Principal planning officer, Gemma Bufton said that she agreed with the HA’s conclusions.
Ms Bufton said: “The provision of the car parking facility, in this location, would only exasperate the number of pedestrian footfall along the narrow, single track county highway.
“Whilst the benefits of additional car parking facilities are noted, the detached nature from the tourism asset and visual impact is not considered to outweigh the harm the proposal would have within this location.
“Therefore, on balance the recommendation is one of refusal.”
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