New homes plans for Llanishen Reservoir face rejection

May 7, 2011 10 Comments »
New homes plans for Llanishen Reservoir face rejection

llanishen reservoir

Campaigners fighting to save Llanishen Reservoir have been given a boost ahead of a public inquiry into the controversial development.

Cardiff council planning bosses have recommended two new planning applications linked to plans to build hundreds of homes and flats be rejected.

They have also launched a withering attack on an updated environmental statement submitted by the American energy company that drained the reservoir.

In a report to the council’s planning committee, officers said the beauty spot’s once thriving toad population could struggle to survive in what water is left.

A survey in 2008 showed the toad population was “exceptional” compared with regional selection criteria.

But surveys over the past two months found the toads are now trying to breed in the remaining shallow pools at the bottom of the reservoir.

“However, these water bodies are much shallower than the original reservoir, so it is possible that spawn and the resulting tadpoles and metamorphs will be more vulnerable to predation and to desiccation in periods of hot, dry weather,” the report states.

Andrew Hill, from the Llanishen Reservoir Action Group, said: “The water was uniquely pure because it was only fed by rainwater. The whole ecological chain has now been disrupted.”

Officers also recommended applications for a mini-roundabout on Lisvane Road and alternations to the reservoir’s heritage-listed embankment both be rejected.

The Assembly Government has called-in the latest applications, which will be considered as part of the development at a public inquiry starting on July 5 in Cardiff.

What do you think about the application? Have you been involved in the Reservoir campaign? Let us know in the comments below

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  1. CWood_PhD_Chemistry May 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Its plain nutty to refill Llanishen Reservoir – such an act would mean over 1 million tons of water at considerable elevation above hundreds of houses and schools. The issue is: gravity. The earth based embankments represent a serious danger now that the reservoir is largely empty – they are drying out and it will take years for the reservoir to refill with rain water.

    In addition, the water in the reservoir will not be pure as some claim. What does water to best? It evaporates, and there will be a considerable amount of evaporation which absent a bleed from the reservoir will mean the TDS level will climb (total dissolved solids) and the water therein would be an ideal breeding ground for insects that lay their eggs in water.

    With hot humid summers this would lead to further problems. But the main issue is one of safety. RAG has already cited to safety concerns should the reservoir be drained, well it's in a largely drained state and filling it now would represent a clear danger given its elevation above hundreds of houses and a school.

    • vulgarsty May 10, 2011 at 12:10 am - Reply

      oh yeah, what with dam failures being such an everyday occurance and us sitting on such an active seismic zone. Best start preparing for a one in ten thousand year event now. Anyone got metal brolleys in case the case the sky starts falling in aswell.

    • Ted July 28, 2011 at 12:20 am - Reply

      Obviously a WPD director

    • vonk August 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Give it a rest! You have obvious interests in Western Power.

  2. R.Ashworth May 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    good news. get it refilled again, like they should have started months ago.

    and for CWood, I've walked around the reservoir for 20 years, and insects have never been a problem around the edge of reservoir.

  3. Martyn Wyatt May 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    The reservoir existed for 120 years prior to its unnecessary draining and has no doubt seen the high water mark and the lows with no threat to its integrity.I believe WPD would have to make good on any repairs to this listed building. They can employ the same gusto to repair the walls that they used to erect the awful metal palisade fencing.

    Many reservoirs are located above the populations they feed as is the nature of the beast but a slow and steady filling of the reservoir by stream and rainwater would give ample time for the monitoring of its refill.
    Once the stream is cut off the water will become purer and purer as it did in the past, by virtue of the 1 metre of rainful Cardiff gets each year.

    The Llanishen Reservoir is looked upon as a pot of gold by the WPD and are seemingly unconcerned that the proposed development is seen as an act of vandalism of this listed structure and would upset the natural surroundings of this unbelievably tranquil location in the Nant Fawr Corridor in the nation's capital. This is entire area something that should be in herited by future generations, not bulldozed into the ground.

    • CWood_PhD_Chemistry May 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Llanishen reservoir is no longer used by Welsh Water to supply water to Cardiff residents/businesses. That ended some time ago. To keep over one million tons of water above what is now a populated suburb of Cardiff makes very little sense. The reservoir is located at considerable elevation above hundreds of houses and schools. RAG itself stated that there is a risk of fissures developing in the earth embankments; in fact this was RAG's position when RAG argued against the draining of the reservoir. I have strong family connections to Llanishen, the reservoir was not a safe place for children to play near the water. If the reservoir is refilled and an embankment fails, a million tons or so of water will rush downhill towards Roath Park Lake.

      • vonk August 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm - Reply


  4. Gillian Brighmtore May 11, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    What has been going on at Llanishen Reservoir over the past 9/10 years amounts to environmental vandalism by Western Power and it's parent company Pennsylvania Light & Power of the worst order.
    In he US. there was made enough outcry made about the environmental damage by B.P. to their environment -and rightly so -but what about the damage now being inflicted on the Welsh landscape as well as on a listed building — Llanishen Reservoir constructed in 1850's to serve the people of Cardiff. Indeed with increased global warming such a resource may be needed agin in the not too distant future.

    This is a heritage site for the people of Cardiff and such not be destroyed in the name of Corporate Greed.I would like to praise the heroic efforts of Andrew Hill in his fight against companies such as Western Power who think they can ride roughshod over the wishes of a local community.
    I for one will be attending the next Public Enquiry on July 4th.where I hope that finally the Reservoir WILL be saved for now and for the future and the wildlife whose home it is – or rather was.
    RAG . supporter

  5. R Pitman May 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    For forty years the green corridors through Cardiff have been recognised as of great importance and have been part of the cities structure plan. The planning officer who granted approval in the last enquiry was persuaded that this and any other number of environmental issues were not relevant and it concerns me that alternative strategies are also used to defeat this vile project.
    I notice Gillian Brightmore considers reuse of reservoir as just that and if future projections of hotter drier summers come to fruition [Hadley Institute AKA Met Office] then it will be seen as ridiculous decision by OFWAT to declare reservoir redundant. Water storage is an issue in dry summers and especially after our very dry spring. Only 200mm of rain in Cardiff Bay so far this year and It is already deemed a problem because Welsh Water is diverting water to secure supplies to north west Cardiff. As a matter of national interest the reservoir needs to be protected for the forseeable future to insure against shortages and cut offs. Furthermore, The original OFWAT decision was made when the Ciities population was considerably less. The position must be reviewed.
    By the way I notice C Wood has a PHD in chemistry not a civil engineer then

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