Council decides against impact assessment for controversial sewage development
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A council has decided that an environmental impact assessment will not be necessary in relation to a controversial sewage development in Cardiff.
Cardiff Council has decided that a screening opinion for a sewer re-enforcement scheme, which includes plans to build a sewage pumping station at Hailey Park in Llandaff North, will not be needed.
Welsh Water, the company behind the proposed development of the sewage pumping station, made the request for a screening opinion in August.
A screening opinion is when a local authority judges whether or not a proposed development requires an environmental impact assessment (EIA).
The screening opinion has been deemed not necessary due to the proposed sewer re-enforcement scheme not falling within the category of developments that make an EIA mandatory, and because the proposed site is not considered to be in an area that can be classed as ‘sensitive’.
The sewage pumping station proposed for land near the Ty Mawr Road entrance to Hailey Park has been a subject of controversy for a number of months now, with many residents raising their objections to the plans.
A number of petitions have already been set up in opposition to the transportation of sewage from the Plasdwr housing development to a pumping station at Hailey Park. A mass cycle ride and a peaceful protest at City Hall have also been used by residents to voice their opinions.
Chief among the concerns of Llandaff North residents and users of Hailey Park are the potential sensory impacts and disruption that the sewage pumping station could have in the area.
Residents’ concerns also include the potential impact that a sewage pumping station could have on biodiversity at the proposed site.
Welsh Water argue that the sewage pumping station would have a minimal effect on the local environment and peoples’ enjoyment of a popular green space in the city.
They have proposed to landscape the development, should it be approved, in order to minimise its potential visual impact.
On top of this, Welsh Water said that noise from the station would be minimal and that it would not be possible to tell when it is and is not pumping sewage.
As well as adding that the risk of odours coming from the pumping station would also be minimal, they said that they have a number of ways of addressing such issues, with the deployment of teams to assess odour levels at sites being one of them.
The development of Plasdwr in the north east of Cardiff means that more sewage will need to be transported to an existing waste water treatment works.
Cog Moors Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) does not have the capacity to take on all the sewage from Plasdwr, so part of it will need to be transported to Cardiff WwTW in the south east of the city.
In order for this to happen, a portion of the sewage will need to cross below the River Taff to Hailey Park and be pumped from 17 metres below the surface to 5 metres. It will then be able to enter an existing sewage system which will transport the waste to Cardiff WwTW.
Cardiff Council’s planning committee will decide whether or not to approve the sewage pumping station proposed for Hailey Park at a meeting on Thursday September 8.
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