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Developing a sustainable future for Snowdonia's Conservation Areas

Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) is embarking on a new project to manage Snowdonia’s 14 Conservation Areas. Funded by the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Landscapes, Sustainable Places fund, the project, led by Chambers Conservation, will ensure that sustainable conservation can enhance Conservation Areas to the future.

What is a Conservation Area?

A conservation area is defined as an area of “special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance” (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Planning Act 1990). The aim of designating conservation areas is to ensure that the character is not damaged, destroyed or undermined by inappropriate changes to the elements which shape the area. Within conservation areas is it not just the buildings which contribute to the special character but also the materials used, history, architectural detailing, hard and soft landscaping including trees.

The are 14 designated Conservation Areas with the Snowdonia National Park, these are:

  • Aberdyfi
  • Abergwyngregyn
  • Y Bala
  • Beddgelert
  • Betws-y-Coed
  • Cymer Abbey (Llanelltyd)
  • Dolbenmaen
  • Dolgellau
  • Harlech
  • Llanllechid
  • Maentwrog
  • Nantmor
  • Nant Peris
  • Pandy’r Odyn
The Aim

This project will run between October 2021 – March 2022 with the aim of working with the Conservation Areas local communities and interest groups to develop Appraisals and Management Plans. These plans will serve as a statement of significance and action plan to sustainably conserve and enhance the Areas, with a particular emphasis on making them more energy efficient.

Specifically, the Appraisals will define what is important about the areas but also, through analysis, start to identify where issues, opportunities, and other factors lie. The subsequent Management Plans will provide a framework to effectively manage the Conservation Areas, enhancing and protecting their special character in a positive and pro-active way, and providing those who live, work, invest in and manage the areas with effective guidance.

The intention of this project is to provide the local communities as well as the Authority with the necessary tools to sustainably conserve and develop the designated Conservation Areas. It should:

  • enable more appropriate and energy efficient development.
  • provide a foundation for future grant and training schemes which could involve providing grant funding support for local communities to make improvements to their communities.
  • Raise awareness of traditional building techniques and materials to assist with appropriate repair and building maintenance.
  • Raise awareness of appropriate methods of enhancing the energy performance of traditional and historic buildings

To ensure success for the project, input from local communities is key due to their local knowledge and understanding of the areas and their history which is not possible to learn from any other source. The aim of the community consultation programme will therefore be to:

  • Engage with the local community to understand and appreciate the historic significance of the built environment to these communities
  • Gain an understanding of what are the current local issues, particularly in relation to climate change
  • Discuss the development and impact of Conservation Management Plans
  • Develop an increased awareness of the importance and benefits of Conservation Area designation to local communities.

Over the course of the project, therefore, the Authority and Chambers Conservation would be most grateful to receive advance information about relevant community events and where applicable, an invitation to attend community council meetings (in person or virtual), within the areas designated as a Conservation Area, listed above.

See contact details below

Chambers Conservation
Mari Beynon Owen
Community Liaison Contact

Snowdonia National Park Authority Project Liaison Officer
Elen Hughes
01766 770274

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