Decision delayed on new sewage pumping station in Cardiff park amid pollution fears
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
A decision has been delayed on whether to grant planning permission for a new sewage pumping station in a park in Cardiff.
Welsh Water is planning to build the pumping station in Hailey Park, in Llandaff North, to accommodate the extra pressure on sewers of thousands of new homes built in the north-west of the city.
But local residents and councillors have raised concerns about smelly odours potentially coming from the pumping station, the impact on local wildlife in the park, and the risk of any pollution into a nearby river.
Cardiff council’s planning committee was due to vote on granting permission during a meeting on Wednesday, April 6, but instead chose to defer any decision until councillors on the committee had a chance to visit the site themselves.
The plans initially included a vent stack, which caused concern locally about foul odours, however this vent stack has now been removed from the designs. The station would be built near the northern car park in Hailey Park, in an area of unkempt scrubland, with some planting around the installation to hide it from view.
The reason the station is needed is to divert some of the extra sewage coming from the Plasdŵr housing development off Llantrisant Road, which will go through a pipe under the river before being pumped to a wastewater treatment plant elsewhere.
During the planning meeting, local councillors raised concerns around the consultation with the public, building on a park, and the risk of sewage leaking into the river Taff. Cllr Jennifer Burke-Davies, representing Llandaff North, asked the planning committee to visit the site before deciding on whether to grant permission.
She said: “While there has been an element of consultation and Welsh Water have to a degree been supportive of working with residents, I don’t necessarily feel that’s gone far enough. Some of the information sessions they did with residents were not accessible.
“A local, biodiverse, award-winning park is no such place for a facility, which is likely going to need upgrading within 15 years. We have an interest in protecting our quickly disappearing green spaces.”
Cllr Sean Driscoll, representing Llandaff, said: “We have concerns, in the event of pumping failure or a hydraulic overload, that raw sewage may be spilled into the Taff. But we’ve been assured [by Welsh Water] this won’t happen. We not only have concerns for species living in and on the Taff, but Llandaff Rowing Club is close by who use the river for sport and leisure.”
It’s unclear when the site visit will take place or when the application will come back to the planning committee for a final decision.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.