Gwynedd Council consultants YCG have announced that they need to consult local residents about what they refer to as the ‘Llanbedr Access Improvement Scheme’.
Never mind that YGC just cannot bear to use the term ‘bypass’.
Never mind that everyone knows that it is a bypass, and was always going to be a bypass.
Never mind that the plans have long since been finalised and it’s a bit late for consultation.
Never mind that the time to ask people if they want a bypass is when the scheme was being planned, not after it’s been finalised.
Never mind that at the planning stage YGC didn’t tell anyone that it was going to be a bypass.
Never mind that a bypass cannot accurately be described as the ‘Llanbedr Access Improvement Scheme’, because a bypass will take people away from Llanbedr, not improve access to the community and its businesses.
Anyway, a bit late in the day perhaps, YGC say that they want your views before a planning application is made to the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA).
Those of you who have been following developments may be under the impression that a planning application was made back in March and in a way that it true. But apparently it was only ‘slightly true’, as one might expect if one is familiar with the developer’s way of doing things.
We understand that a planning application has already been made, but it was so incomplete that the SNPA refused to register it, effectively throwing it back at YGC. Some people who have followed this unhappy saga over the last couple of years might be unkind enough to assume that this was just more of the kind of incompetence that one might expect form an out fit that gets the number and type of businesses in Llanbedr wrong in their official report on the proposals, and pretends it is not planning a bypass when it is, but this time there seems to be a different explanation.
As the story goes, a planning application was made in the full knowledge that it would not be accepted by the national park because a few days later there was to be a very important conference in London. This was organised by the UK Space Agency so that each of the candidates competing for funding to build a UK Spaceport could make their case.
Evidently the team promoting Llanbedr thought that if they could put their hands on their hearts and say that an application had already been made for a wonderful new road to the airfield then that would help their chances.
If this really is what happened, and it seems very likely that it did, then it removes any doubt that the Llanbedr bypass is all about getting a spaceport here. So what is planned is both a bypass and a spaceport window dressing scheme, but it is by no means certain that people in Llanbedr really want either, because no one has really tried to find out, and that could be a very real problem for Gwynedd Council when it comes to funding.
The Welsh Government has guidelines for consultation on transport schemes that they promote or fund, and a bypass cannot be built without WAG funding. However the guide lines are being revised at the moment.
You can find YGC’s announcement, together with links to a lot of relevant documents, here:
Now would be a very good time to let Gwynedd Council know whether you want Llanbedr to be permanently bypassed in the hope that someone just might just get the funding to build a spaceport at the airfield. It doesn’t have to happen.