Capel Curig and Llyn Mymbyr


Minerals & Waste

The National Park Authority assumed responsibility for minerals and waste planning in 1996.


The National Park is rich in mineral resources such as slate, hard rock and a variety of metals, including gold. However, demand for these resources needs to be balanced against the need to protect Snowdonia from mining and quarrying operations that would cause long-term harm to the landscape character and environment of the National Park. To this end planning policy reflects national guidance which states that proposals for mineral extraction in National Parks should be subject to rigorous examination.

Tonfannau Quarry

Tonfannau Quarry (© SNPA)


Sustainable development is only possible if resources and materials are used wisely. Reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by re-using, recycling and recovering materials and energy all help to achieve this. The National Park Authority has contributed to the production of the North Wales Regional Waste Plan which sets out a blueprint for developing a network of facilities in order to ensure sustainable waste management the region.

North Wales Minerals and Waste Joint Planning Service.

It is recognised that minerals and waste planning is somewhat specialist in nature and the small size of planning teams at the individual councils in north Wales meant it was rare for them to employ full-time staff with the necessary expertise. In 2011the North Wales Minerals and Waste Joint Planning Service was established. The collaboration originally involved all six local planning authorities in north Wales and the Snowdonia National Park Authority. Subsequently the service has taken over responsibility for minerals and waste planning in the northern part of Powys.

The service, based in Mold and Bangor, consists of seven specialist waste and minerals planners employed on behalf of the participating authorities by Flintshire Council as lead authority. The main functions of the joint service are to:-

  • assess, write reports and make recommendations on planning applications
  • carry out site monitoring, undertake enforcement and compliance work
  • assist in policy development.

Decisions on applications are still taken by planning committees in each council.