New boardwalk for zoo approved but Llandudno tram station plan delayed

A DECISION on major plans to upgrade Llandudno’s Great Orme Tramway has been delayed. 

Conwy County Council has submitted plans for a new ticket office, a retail shop, public toilets, a staff rest room, and a relocated entrance with lift access.

But plans for a new boardwalk at upper Colwyn Bay’s Welsh Mountain Zoo improving wheelchair and disabled access were given the go-ahead at a meeting of the council’s planning committee.

The National Zoological Society of Wales applied for permission to build the new boardwalk, which will now be built adjacent to the tigers and red squirrels, in lieu of the existing steps.

Conwy’s ecologist has recommended a protected species survey must also take place.

In a letter to the council, a spokesman for the zoo said: “The zoo premises, being a hillside site, presents some degree of challenges for access around the site for disabled persons or people with some degree of mobility impairment.

“In recent years disability-friendly and accessible toilet facilities have been provided beneath the Safari Cafe with a disability-friendly boardwalk access across the slope to access the toilet facilities.

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However, from the location down past the tigers and towards the red squirrels, the visitors to the zoo are faced with the uneven and narrow steps down past the tigers to access the lower path; these steps are extremely difficult for anyone with a mobility impairment to negotiate, and the steps are completely unusable by wheelchair users.”

Cllr Austin Roberts proposed that councillors backed the plans, and Cllr Trystan Lewis seconded the proposal.

But plans for an upgraded tram station in Llandudno have been delayed.

The council says the new buildings will help reduce queues on Church Walks during the busy tourist season.

Conwy has proposed to keep the current canopy above the tramway, moving the entrance away from the junction at Church Walks and Old Road.

Funding is likely to be provided by a heritage grant, coupled with finances from Conwy County Council, and the total cost of the project will be in the region of £800-900K.

But at a meeting on Wednesday, the planning committee agreed to defer the application before a councillor site visit.

The application is expected to return to the committee for a decision at a future meeting.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno