Plans to create new helipads at Ysbyty Gwynedd approved amid summer tourism surge
A scheme to develop two new helicopter landing pads at a North Wales hospital – prompted by a surge in summer tourism – has been given the green light.
Cyngor Gwynedd’s planning committee unanimously agreed to proposals to remove an existing helicopter landing site and construct two new landing pads at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, when it met yesterday (Monday September 11).
It comes after an assessment of the existing service by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board highlighted the need to upgrade and improve the provision for landing helicopters at the Penrhosgarnedd site in Gwynedd.
The report said the existing facilities were well-used, particularly taking into account the fact that the county’s population doubles during the summer months.
A planning document showed that from December 1, 2020 to November 30, 2021, the 444-bed hospital accepted 158 patients via the Wales Air Ambulance/Bristow Search and Rescue.
The plans stated: “The new facility would offer more capacity to receive patients and would create a landing facility for a broader range of helicopters, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
The landing area is located approximately 150m to the east of the hospital, on a plot of sloped land.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, it “offers very good flight paths into and out of the hospital grounds.”
Work on the site will include removing the existing helicopter landing pad, creating two new landing areas by re-grading the landscape and creating two embankments with a circular shaped flat plot behind them.
It will also see the installation of hard standing for landing pads, surface water drainage work and the installation of new illuminated landing barriers.
Furthermore, new security fencing will be put up, with the creation of enclosures to maintain the helicopters and carry out associated engineering work.
Planners representing the health board said the proposals would not have a detrimental impact on the health and safety of nearby residents, despite the potential for some noise and disturbance.
The site is approximately 200m from the nearest homes, but not objections were received during a public consultation.
Ahead of the planning meeting, a report by officers said: “When considering the status of Bangor as a sub-regional centre, and the site’s existing use as the main health treatment location in north west Wales, it is believed that this facility is completely appropriate for the nature of the location and status of the settlement.”
The proposals were said to be acceptable under planning policies, subject to conditions.
Officers told the meeting the plans were appropriate for the site and would help achieve an “objective of strategic importance”.
The committee voted unanimously in favour of the proposals at the end of the debate.
By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter
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