THE National Trust is seeking planning permission for an overflow car park, which has already been created, at one of the most iconic spots in the Brecon Beacons.

The popularity of the Henrhyd Falls, which at 90ft above sea level is the highest waterfall in the south of Wales, draws in visitors from across the region and beyond.

The falls are around five miles, by road, from the area marketed by the Brecon Beacons National Park as waterfall country and it, Powys and Neath Port Talbot councils and police have previously sought to address problems caused by visitors parking in villages including Pontneddfechan, Ystradfellte and Penderyn.

The National Trust has now submitted the retrospective planning application for th overflow car park near Henrhyd Falls, Coelbren near Ystradgynlais, which is in the Powys council administered planning area rather than the national park.

Due to visitors parking on the side of the roads leading to the waterfall, building the car park is seen as a solution to stopping the congestion.

National Trust traffic consultants, Acstro explained the proposal in a transport statement.

Acstro said: “Visitor numbers have increased significantly in recent years, particularly since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

“The level of visitor numbers is such that the existing car park cannot always accommodate demand and overspill parking regularly occurs, causing congestion on surrounding roads and nuisance to nearby residents and are becoming frequently impassable.”

Henrhyd Falls left are so popular local roads have been clogged by parked cars. Picture: Nilfanion (Creative Commons)

“The National Trust has identified an area where an overflow car park can be located, opposite the junction of the C0194 and C0193.

“Due to the urgent need to address the congestion caused by overspill parking the car park was constructed in the summer of 2021.

“This planning application seeks retrospective permission for the works.”

They add that the overflow provides an extra 20 parking spaces – and that this equates to freeing up 120metres of road from inconsiderate car parking.

The statement adds that Powys County Council have said  that they intend introducing further traffic restrictions in the area.

Prohibition of waiting at any time  are intended for sections of three roads at Coelbren, the C C0193, C0194 and C0198.

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The reason behind this proposal say Powys is to: “prevent inconsiderate parking at the areas where vehicles are obstructing the public highway significantly.”

They add that emergency services vehicles have problems navigating the area.

A consultation on the proposal was held between July 21 and August 13 last year, but no decision has been taken to implement these restrictions.

Planners have until June 8 to decide.

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