AN ENVIRONMENTAL Impact Assessment will not be needed as part of the planning application for the Wales International Conference Centre at the Celtic Manor, Newport City council have decided.
Lewis and Lewis Ltd, who project managed the original construction of the hotel, requested a screening opinion ahead of submitting an outline planning application, to provide the largest convention facility of its kind in Wales or the south west of England.
The WICC development includes the construction of an on-site multi-storey car park and new motorway bridge.
The council reached their decision after consulting with Natural Resources Wales and highways, woodlands and environmental health representatives.
In the documentation supplied to the council, it is stated the outline application will comprise a single conference block circa 110,000 sq ft split over three operational levels above underground parking, a separate multi-storey car park which will provide additional spaces and a new motorway access bridge.
It states: “This development ... will ensure a continued world profile for Newport and Wales.”
In November, Edwina Hart announced the Welsh Government would provide match funding for the initial stage of the WICC project.
The centre will be accessed off the existing hotel road infrastructure. The council did not consider additional traffic to have a “significant adverse impact” on the local highway network.
The council found the increase in traffic likely to be caused to be far less than a new facility in a new location. They recognised the Centre would be operated in connection with the hotel with links between WICC users and hotel guests.
They added the disruption caused by the construction of the bridge would be relatively short term.
The plans, submitted on behalf of the Celtic Manor in December, show some encroachment into the woodland will be necessary. It is said an agreed Woodland Management plan will improve the ecological habitat and compensate for this.
In its response, the council said: “In comparison with the amount of woodland which would be unaffected, and possibly enhanced, as a result of the development, it is not considered that the proposed development will have an adverse impact on the visual quality of the area.”
The council concluded there not to be any likely impact on the health and amenity of residents or people working locally.