PLANS are underway to develop parking area at a globally important Eryri – slate quarry site.
The Cyngor Gwynedd full application hopes to encourage visitors to explore the area’s history and walking trails.
A full application for the change of use of an area of existing open hardstanding to provide car parking for World Heritage Site visitors to the Dorothea Quarry has been received by council planners.
The proposals also call for the erection of World Heritage Site interpretation sign at Petris Square site, on the Nantlle Road site, at Talysarn.
Proposed changes at the site have prompted extensive consultation with residents and local community councils.
The Dorothea Quarry is well known as one of the iconic slate quarries of north-west Wales.
The area provides an example of an industrial landscape shaped by quarrying and mining slate.
In its day, the region’s slate industry dominated world production of roofing tiles.
The flooded quarry which closed in 1970 also became popular with divers.
Sadly, the area is now also well known as a site where there have been dozens of deaths.
The planning application has been made by Stuart Jones of Chester based Headland Design Associates.
The plans state the proposed new 12 bay parking area will “provide off road parking for visitors to the walking trails around the Dorothea Quarry site and will relieve parking pressures elsewhere in the area.”
The design statement says the proposed interpretive sign is one element of a project to “…deliver heritage interpretation across the Slate World Heritage Area to inform visitors about the history of the industry and the communities.
“Each location has its own story to tell and will encourage visitors to explore the wider slate landscape area.
“The interpretation at this location is being delivered by one vertical style physical sign, with support stand details, included in the application, and which has been agreed with the site owner,” the design and access statement says.
The existing open hardstanding site is accessed from the B4418 Nantlle Road (north side) close to its junction with Tanrallt Terrace, and Petris (Beatrice) Square leading to Pont Wythdir. The parking area will have existing access from the B4418.
The new sign panel will be in “a prominent location” to the immediate side of the car park but “accessible to all.”
All information will be provided in “both Welsh and English with Welsh first,” it also states.
The former use of the site is listed as “Part of the Dorothea slate quarrying operations for the tipping of waste slate and last used in 1971.
It is currently use for parking “by landowners, for their own use.”
The plans state that consultation with neighbours and community has included “the Dorothea Pumped Hydro Ltd (DPH) informing the Llanllyfni Community Council.
“One-to-one site meeting and discussions with some Community
Council members have been held and one- off conversation with local residents.” The plans say.
It also states there was also “a meeting of local residents, where a local traffic enforcement officer attended on August 24, in 2021.”
That meeting concerned “…anti-social parking around the Talysarn Island, at which DPH suggested WHS-related parking could be provided at Petris.
“Attendance at that meeting has included DPH, four Community Councillors (including the Chair), local residents and Iwan Trefor (Gwynedd Council Highways.” It adds.
It also stated there had been “regular dialogue with Gwynedd Council, Hannah Joyce and Roland Evans, and Cadw, (Ashley Batten, at six weekly ’Dorothea Task Group meetings with Gwynedd Council and Cadw’ had been held.”