Decision to approve plans for sewage development at Cardiff park set for court hearing
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Cardiff Council’s decision to approve plans for a sewage pumping station on land at a popular park is set to face a judicial review .
Campaigners opposed to the plans for the sewage development at Hailey Park in Llandaff North said the proposals should have been subject to more intense scrutiny.
They also allege that the council’s planning committee didn’t have all the necessary information, including an environmental impact assessment, in front of them before making their decision.
Llandaff North Residents’ Association announced in October 2022 that an application for a judicial review had been made after the Save Hailey Park campaign helped to raise over £11,000.
The residents’ association learnt on February 15 that permission had been granted for their application.
At the time, Cardiff Council said that they intend to contest the matter in court and a date for a judicial review has since been set for June 29.
What are the plans for Hailey Park?
Welsh Water submitted plans to Cardiff Council for the sewage pumping station in October 2021 with the hope of allowing sewage from the Plasdŵr development in Radyr to be transported to an existing sewage network.
The major housing development, which will eventually consist of about 7,000 homes, is situated on the opposite side of the River Taff to Hailey Park.
As there is not enough capacity at Cog Moors Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) to take on all of the sewage from Plasdŵr, some will need to be transported to Cardiff WwTW.
Welsh Water said the pumping station is a key component of making this happen by allowing the excess waste to be transported under the Taff from Plasdŵr, to be pumped up to the existing sewage network to flow towards Cardiff WwTW.
What is being said about the plans?
The concerns of residents in relation to the pumping station range from potential bad smells, the creation of an eyesore and the loss of green space.
Many who live in Llandaff North, and many from across Cardiff who regularly use Hailey Park, are also worried about the potential loss of natural habitats at the site proposed for development.
The pumping station, which will be 24m long and 21m wide, is earmarked for land at the Tŷ Mawr Road entrance to the park.
One mitigating feature that has been proposed by Welsh Water is a green fence of about 2.5m in height which will be put around the site with the intention of making it blend in with the environment.
Welsh Water also argues that people will not be able to see the sewage pumps and should not expect to notice any smells or noises coming from them as they will be 20m underground.
However, campaigners opposed to the plans still maintain that the pumping station could be built somewhere else where it would be less intrusive.
This is not to mention their argument that there should be a facility at Plasdŵr itself to deal with the site’s excess sewage and that Llandaff North should not be involved in the management of Plasdŵr’s waste at all.
Welsh Water said the proposed site for the pumping station was selected as the most appropriate after careful consideration of various locations.
They added that this was for a number of reasons, including its proximity to the existing wastewater network and that its location will cause minimal disruption during construction.
What happens next?
The judicial review is taking place at Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre, Park Street, on Thursday June 29 and Friday June 30.
A social media post by the Llandaff North Residents’ Association states that the specific time of the hearing will only be revealed on the day before it takes place.
If the campaigners are successful in their legal challenge, Welsh Water would have to review their planning application and submit a new one.
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