Conwy Hydro Scheme

Inland paddling
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Dan Yates.
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Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by Dan Yates. » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:29 pm

It's happened RWE has submitted a planning application for the Conwy hydro scheme. Canoe Wales are currently planning their response and Nigel Midgely wants to hear from as many kayakers as possible to incorporate their views. Send an email to info@ukrafting.co.uk and mark the topic Hydro response.
Please get in touch with him as soon as possible , time is ticking on this one.
See https://www.facebook.com/savetheconwy?fref=nf for more details.

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tomdowns
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by tomdowns » Sat May 02, 2015 8:53 pm

248 people have read this post, how many of you have sent an email to Canoe Wales?

just because this isn't happening in your backyard doesn't mean that it won't.

Imagine the precedent that gets set when a Snowdonia National Park allows the development of a pristine river in an SSSI. which rivers will be safe from development?
In carrying out its statutory planning responsibilities, the National Park Authority (NPA) must also have regard to the statutory responsibilities and management role of National Park Authorities as set out in the Environment Act 1995.

These purposes are to:

Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park.
Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Park, by the public.
The National Park also has a duty to:

Seek to foster the social and economic well being of the local communities within the Park area.
The adopted development plan for the Snowdonia National Park is the Eryri Local Development Plan (end date 2022) which was adopted by Snowdonia National Park Authority on the 13th of July, 2011. The plan seeks to express Park purposes and duties in terms of land use, planning and development policies.
RWE have just built a 580MW wind farm within spitting distance of this project, each turbine in the array produces 3.6MW. This HEP is forecast to produce 5MW but I think it's safe to say that it is unlikely that will be achieved, we all know how long the rivers can go without water, wether from lack of rain or cold.

We as a community have to make our voices heard, its far to easy to be overlooked, it also too easy to just sit there and do nothing. I know for a fact that a bunch of people will read this and do nothing, not because you don't care, but because you think one voice will make no difference. Lots of people with just one voice can make an awesome noise.

don't be apathetic, lets try our best to do something about it.

neil.farmer
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by neil.farmer » Sat May 02, 2015 9:40 pm

All paddlers need to get involved, especially those from afar. The more the better. Tom is correct, if this goes through any river could be next, Swale, Dart, etc, etc, etc.
Neil Farmer (from mobile)

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banzer
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by banzer » Sun May 03, 2015 10:37 pm

Even though I paddle the Glen about once every five years, this can't be allowed to happen.

Sent my objection the minute this thread came up. If you have't done so yet, now's the time.
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RichA
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by RichA » Mon May 04, 2015 12:17 pm

Done.

I seem to remember writing an email objecting to the scheme before (1 or 2 years ago maybe?). I initially didn't write an email this week because I had already lodged my vote against the scheme. Is this a new anti-Conwy hydro drive, or a continuation of the older one? Or am I making all of that up in a hazy memory?

Dan Yates.
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by Dan Yates. » Mon May 04, 2015 4:23 pm

We have previously asked people to email a feedback form to RWE as part of their impact assessment. This latest request to contact Canoe Wales is to inform an official objection from them. This week we will also be asking people to make personal objections direct to the planning authority. We know it,s a lot but all these individual objections to different agencies will make a huge difference, far more effective than a single petition. There will also be a need to object to the abrstraction license when that is put to NRW (natural resources wales).

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RichA
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by RichA » Tue May 05, 2015 10:04 am

Thanks for the clarification, makes more sense now. Might be worth posting that on facebook if you haven't already?

Dan Yates.
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue May 05, 2015 11:44 am

Details of how to make individual planning objections online now.

See http://savetheconwy.com/2015/05/05/indi ... bjections/

This is possibly the most effective thing you can do. Please write , email or fax now. Even if you have emailed Canoe Wales aswell this is really important.

Thanks and good river karma to all in advance.

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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by andy g » Tue May 05, 2015 2:28 pm

Rich
It has been on the FaceBook pages of Kayaking the River Dart , Waters of Wales , and South Wales River Talk.

I have sent my emails to Canoe Wales and the Panning Officer and got an acknowledgement from the latter that my objection has been received and they will revert to me in due course.

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RichA
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by RichA » Tue May 05, 2015 2:37 pm

andy g wrote:Rich
It has been on the FaceBook pages of Kayaking the River Dart , Waters of Wales , and South Wales River Talk.
But not on the Save the Conwy page...? As I don't paddle in Wales much after moving to Scotland, I don't look at those other pages. The overview 'strategy' posted by Dan above was a great summary for me and helped explain what is happening and when. If it's been posted previously then I haven't seen it. I'm possibly not the only one? That was my only point.

Anyway, I'll get on to the individual planning objection email this evening. :-)

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John K
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by John K » Tue May 05, 2015 9:02 pm

I used the on line form for comments here: http://planning.snowdonia-npa.gov.uk/sw ... NP4/26/323

It doesn't have any mechanism for emailing a confirmation that the comments were received so I emailed it to cynllunio@eryri-npa.gov.uk as well. Here's what I wrote...
I object to this proposal as it is inappropriate, of limited benefit, and will have a significantly detrimental effect on recreation in the area.

Inappropriate
S3.19 of the Eryri Local Development Plan 2007-2022 states that "large-scale energy power generation projects are incompatible with National Park status". Whilst it makes provision for "small-scale renewable energy developments to meet domestic or community needs" this proposal does not meet this criteria as it is neither a domestic nor a community development.

Limited benefit
Despite requiring very substantial, damaging and intrusive construction work this scheme is projected to have a peak output of just 5MW of electricity and will achieve this for no more than 54 days a year. It is estimated that for 128 days a year it will produce no electricity at all due to insufficient water levels. After the construction period it is unlikely to provide any local employment

Loss of recreation
The section of the Conwy that would be affected is of national importance for kayaking in the UK. Water levels are often high enough for kayaking here when other rivers are too low and this is frequently the only place in Snowdonia, indeed in England and Wales, where kayakers can find sufficient flow to paddle white water of this quality and difficulty. Currently the water levels are high enough for kayaking for around 120 days each year, and should the proposed scheme go ahead this is calculated to drop to around 70.

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tomdowns
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by tomdowns » Tue May 05, 2015 10:09 pm

Thanks John,

Appreciate you taking the time to submit this objection, this is exactly what we need.

Heres a statement from the Environmental Impact assessment report - Volume 1

In summary, it is considered that the Development would have an overall long term
negligible effect on the local economy, with only a limited provision of employment and other economic benefits. The Development will however provide a positive minor contribution towards meeting the government’s regional and national targets for
renewable energy


and another

Typically commercial hydro developers undertake their own site finding exercises to identify potential hydro-electric sites. In the case of Conwy Falls HES, the landowner of the site approached the Applicant after having considered the potential for a scheme over a number of years. The principal involved landowner was looking to make carbon savings and in particular was interested in hydro-electric developments within Snowdonia but was unable to design and develop a scheme of this scale

I just get a nasty feeling that this scheme is being proposed as a revenue generator for local landowners.

To re-emphasise my earlier sentiment, this sets a worrying precedent if it goes ahead, especially when you can go to this website
http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/the-environment

And read the following
  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area;
    Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Park by the public;
    We also have a duty to seek to foster the economic and social well being of local communities within the Park.
Keep the objections going in everybody

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John K
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by John K » Tue May 05, 2015 10:32 pm

tomdowns wrote:Appreciate you taking the time to submit this objection, this is exactly what we need.
No problem. I want it still to be there in case I ever get good enough to paddle it!

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Poke
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Re: Conwy Hydro Scheme

Post by Poke » Wed May 13, 2015 3:43 pm

The deadline for this is the 17th May. Only 5 days left to voice your objections.

I think that Tom's quote from the conclusion in their own Environmental Impact Assessment (section 13.7.2) is pretty poignant:
RWE wrote:In summary, it is considered that the Development would have an overall long term negligible effect on the local economy, with only a limited provision of employment and other economic benefits. The Development will however provide a positive minor contribution towards meeting the government’s regional and national targets for renewable energy
It'd be a shame to lose such a fantastic river for so little gains. A single offshore wind turbine can do up to 3MW at present, and has far less impact than this scheme.

Please make an effort on this one! Even a 2 liner objecting is better than nothing if you're that busy!
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