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