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ZipWorld plans for ‘virtually invisible’ glamping pods

17 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Where are they? Plans for ‘virtually invisible’ accommodation pods have been unveiled at ZipWorld Fforest, in Betws y Coed. Screengrab from planning documents.

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

Plans for “virtually invisible” accommodation pods have been unveiled at a popular Snowdonia visitor attraction.

ZipWorld Fforest, in Betws y Coed, is one of three attractions run by the company across north Wales and attracts thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies to experience its unique Fforest Coaster and other such rides.

But in a bid to further diversify the business, plans have now been submitted with the Snowdonia National Park Authority for a series of what are being described as “virtually invisible” accommodation pods.

According to the applicants, the former Tree Top Adventures site would include six of the pods in order to meet growing demand for such accommodation in the region.

The supporting documents, submitted to the national park as part of the application, state: “The need for accommodation for Zip World’s customers has been a long-standing matter which Zip World have sought to meet.

“The need remains and whilst we continue to see an increase in high quality accommodation in north Wales, there remains to be a gap in the market to provide alternative accommodation which is of high quality and is unique in terms of its offer.”

There it is! Plans for ‘virtually invisible’ accommodation pods have been unveiled at ZipWorld Fforest, in Betws y Coed. Screengrab from planning documents.

Set to be built using predominantly reflective materials, the company says this would create a “virtually invisible structure” thus minimising any visual impact.

With no trees set to be removed, the six pods would be constructed on land to the east of the overflow car park, in an area of woodland but available only to existing visitors to ZipWorld Fforest.

‘Non-permanent’

The pods, if approved, would each provide an open-plan kitchen, dining, toilet and bedroom with an external balcony.

“It is considered that the proposed development would embody the spirit of these (Local Development Plan) objectives, as it would support an existing rural business within the National Park with minimal impact upon the environment, would provide additional employment of local people, and would help to support tourism within the National Park and within the whole of north Wales.

Plans for ‘virtually invisible’ accommodation pods have been unveiled at ZipWorld Fforest, in Betws y Coed. Screengrab from planning documents.

“The proposed pods would be non-permanent in nature, and should the use cease on the land in future, these structures would be able to be removed from the site in full, including the in-built toilet and shower room facilities.

“As the pods simply sit on the land, the land could be reinstated with ease.”

It’s expected that Snowdonia National Park planning officers will consider the application over the coming weeks, pending consultation with statutory bodies.

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