SLR Consulting's work on the regeneration strategy for East Pit/Lakes of Rhosamman, adjacent to the Brecon Beacon's National Park in South Wales, has been shortlisted in this year's Royal Town Planning Institute's (RTPI) awards for Planning Excellence.
The project, for a consortium consisting of The Land Trust, Oak Regeneration and Celtic Energy, covers the transformational rural redevelopment of a former surface coal mine into an international tourism and leisure destination. It is one of four shortlisted schemes in the RTPI's "Innovative use of the planning process/plan making" category.
SLR has developed the regeneration strategy for the project and has provided the comprehensive site Masterplan inclusive of the full range of technical and environmental assessments.
"It's very satisfying that our solutions to this complex project have now been recognized by our peers in the RTPI," said Technical Director Paul McTernan.
"Our approach was to realize the transformation of the 585 hectare site from the final phase of production at the mine through to the creation of a final restored land form capable of carrying forward a future viable and sustainable economic use. This will help to provide the economic renewal of the local community, which is one of the most deprived in Wales," he added.
The proposed project sees the conclusion of over 150 years of coal working in the community and the transition through restoration to the development of a country park, hotel resort and water activity centre.
The site will be developed in partnership with the Land Trust who will coordinate the delivery of a range of rural enterprise programs. The project will provide up to 200 jobs and provide a £40m annual boost to the local economy on completion.
Multi-disciplinary environmental firm, SLR, has been involved in the project since 2011. A planning application covering the first phase of the project, mine completion and site restoration was submitted to the local planning authority in November 2012.