Tourist attraction's been given outline planning permission
Assembly Members in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend have welcomed a big milestone in the development of the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.
The major tourism development received outline planning permission on March 19.
If given the final go-ahead, it'll occupy a 325-acre former forestry plantation at Pen-y-Bryn by Croeserw and Cymmer, on the border of Bridgend county.
The proposals involve 600 lodges/apartments, a 100-bed hotel with spa, restaurants, a vast range of adventure activities, shops, and parking for around 850 cars.
Huw Irranca-Davies, AM for Ogmore, and David Rees who represents the constituency of Aberavon, have been closely engaged with planners, government agencies and the developer since the beginning of the project.
Mr Rees said “This is a major step-forward on this exciting project, which could help transform the local economy and provide many opportunities for local businesses and for local jobs.
“I commend Neath Port Talbot Council and the developers for the way they have persevered to get to this stage on a project which could offer a visionary visitor experience in our valleys.”
Mr Irranca-Davies said he remembered when the developers first turned up, on a very wet and windy day, seeking out possible sites across the UK for the very first of its kind of an adventure tourism resort.
He said: “I met them and chatted with them, took them for a coffee and a cake in a cosy Maesteg café while we waited for the weather to clear – it was a very wet and windy day.
“At the time they were looking at several other locations in England and Scotland.
“But when the weather cleared and they went up on our hilltops and saw the rugged and dramatic beauty of our valleys, they were sold on the potential for adventure tourism.
“They were also very sold on the friendliness of the local people, and the really strong support here for a project with such potential for jobs and economic growth.”
He added: “My friend David Rees, the Aberavon AM and the leaders of Neath Port Talbot Council and Bridgend County Borough Council have worked with the developer since those early days a couple of years ago, recognising the incredible potential of this development, but also working to get this right for local residents as well as visitors and tourists, and putting the right environmental safeguards in place.
“We really commend the way in which the developers have worked with the council to get to this important stage.
“But there is still a long way to go. We will be asking the local authorities to continue to work with the developer and local residents as the project is taken forward, to maximise the benefits for local jobs in construction and operation of the Afan Adventure Resort, for local businesses which could be part of the supply-chain for the resort, and to protect and enhance the natural environment.
“I know that the developers are keen to work with local communities in the Llynfi and Afan valleys going forward.
“If we can work together to make this a success then this could have a dramatic effect on local jobs and the economy in areas of high economic disadvantage.
“It will also boost the image of our valleys as simply one of the best adventure tourism destinations in the whole UK.”