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Go-ahead for multimillion-pound adventure resort in Afan Valley

Words: Roger Milne
White water rafting / iStock-96894723

Ambitious proposals for a multimillion-pound adventure resort in the Afan Valley have been given outline planning approval by Neath Port Talbot Council.

The application site comprises just over 130 hectares of former forestry plantation and is located on the southern slopes of the glacial valley of the River Afan.

The southern boundary follows the border between the council and neighbouring Bridgend County Borough Council, which two years ago approved plans for major 18-megawatt solar farm on land immediately to the south of the resort’s area.

A range of activities is proposed, including alpine sports, white water rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and the world's largest artificial downhill ski slope.

The resort will offer 600 lodges and flats, a 100-bedroom hotel and spa, restaurants, parking for 850 vehicles and a Bear Grylls Survival Academy.

Recommending approval, officers told the planning committee: “While the development would have significant adverse impacts on the landscape and biodiversity, and other identified residual impacts, these can be mitigated or compensated to a lesser or greater extent by legal agreement and conditions.

“The development of the land for a holiday resort would significantly benefit the socio-economic growth in the region, acting as a major contributor to the local economy through the provision of a strategic tourist destination.”

These benefits would outweigh the identified environmental impacts, the planners concluded.

The wider Afan Valley already has an extensive network of cycle trails. Wind turbines are prominent across much of the landscape.

Image credit | iStock