National park campaigners are considering legal action to stop the development of a commercial airport in the Snowdonia National Park.
The former military airfield at Llanbedr, near Harlech, has been leased by Kemble Air Services, which said it intends to use it for small, private aircraft and microlights, along with unmanned air vehicles. Opponents say it will pose a threat to the environment and tourism, with ‘aircraft buzzing overhead’.
The Snowdonia Society, Friends of Pembrokeshire National Park and the Brecon Beacons Society say they will consider seeking a judicial review of the decision of the Welsh Assembly Government to allow the development. They say the Government has not fulfilled its legal obligations.
David Young, of Kemble Air Services, said the dispute was ‘almost irrelevant from our point of view’. He expressed his disappointment at the adverse publicity caused by the claims of Snowdonia Society director Alan Pugh who, speaking on The Politics Show Wales, said the assembly government had not met its legal obligations. And he said the Government should have produced evidence it had followed the correct procedures.
He said: “We’ve made several requests using freedom-of-information legislation to the Welsh government and yet that evidence has not been forthcoming. And it makes you wonder why that evidence has not been forthcoming.
“We're greatly concerned that Welsh ministers have not behaved in a fully lawful manner here.”
The assembly government has offered to meet the opponents of the scheme.
Llanbedr operated as a military airfield since its construction during the Second World War. Kemble said that more than 30 jobs would be created by allowing flying operations to continue at the site.