Tourism chiefs voice fears over nuclear construction army

Grant Prior 4 months ago
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Tourism chiefs in North Wales are worried construction workers on the planned new nuclear power station in Wylfa will take up all the local accommodation usually used by tourists.

The managing director of North Wales Tourism is now calling for client Horizon Nuclear Power to review plans to house thousands of construction workers in Anglesey’s holiday accommodation during the decade-long build programme.

Jim Jones said Anglesey’s tourism sector could be adversely impacted in the long-term.

He said: “The Wylfa Newyd development is a huge investment into the economy of Anglesey and it has the potential to be a great catalyst project.

“But there is also a risk that, if thousands of workers are housed in holiday accommodation across the island, this could be a backward step for our tourism industry.

“As a membership body representing accommodation providers across Anglesey our job is to ensure our members are aware of the issues at stake and that their views are heard.”

Tourism is one of Anglesey’s main sources of employment and revenue.

The sector employs around 4,000 people and generates in the region of £260m every year. The island welcomes more than 1.5m holiday makers every year.

Horizon Nuclear Power originally planned to accommodate up to 3,500 construction workers in a purpose-built workers village complex at Kingsland and Cae Glas, on the outskirts of Holyhead.

The worker’s village, set to have been built by developer Land & Lakes, would have been converted to high quality holiday accommodation once the construction of Wylfa was complete.

But in its latest consultation Horizon Nuclear Power dropped these plans in favour of housing most of its construction workforce in Anglesey’s holiday and private rental sectors.

Richard Foxhall, Stakeholder Relations Manager for Horizon said: “We are very aware of concerns in the accommodation sector and welcome further feedback on these during this period of consultation.

“However, we firmly believe that our refined proposals, which will see construction workers accommodated at one site rather than five, will be easier to manage and reduces possible impacts more widely across the island.

“These proposals, which have been developed in light of feedback received through previous consultations, will enable us to accommodate up to 4,000 workers on site, meaning that the demand on off-site accommodation will be around 3% of the total available supply.

“The first phase, of 1,000 beds at the Site Campus will be ready for occupation in 2020 ahead of the main construction workforce arriving, ensuring there is no adverse effect.  Additional modules will be added as the workforce increases.

“We are confident that these proposals are the best solution to accommodating the construction workforce, providing opportunity for the private and tourism sectors, and enabling us to deliver a world-class nuclear power station which will employ 850 people until at least 2085.”

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