Plans for over 130 homes on hillside approved despite flood risk
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Plans to build more than 100 homes on a section of green space just outside Cardiff have been given the go ahead despite concerns over flooding.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee approved outline planning permission for 133 flats and houses on land south of Llandough Hill and Penarth Road in Llandough at a meeting on Wednesday, March 29.
A number of residents and a councillor expressed “serious” concerns about the application, fearing it could pose a flooding risk.
However, another councillor who lives in the area pointed to a growing need for housing in the county and how this development might help ease the demand.
Vale of Glamorgan Council ward member for Llandough, Cllr George Carroll said: “Anybody who is familiar with Llandough Hill will be aware of considerable water discharge at the top and bottom of the hill.”
The councillor went on to say that the council had constructed an interceptor drain to help address this problem. However, he added that there is “significant discharge” near a property which is directly opposite the proposed site.
Cllr Carroll said: “This then in periods of heavy rainfall discharges water on to Penarth Road which is a severe flood risk.
“Given this visible and well documented issue, I was astonished to see that this application was recommended for approval.
“The site in question is, to all intents and purposes, a green space. Concreting it over will have two effects.
“First and foremost it will potentially put these properties at risk from flooding and secondly, it has the potential to exacerbate the existing drainage issues as a result of the loss of green space that currently absorbs water in the area.”
The development will be split into two sections, with an upper plateau comprising of 33 houses and a lower plateau comprising of 100 flats.
A council planning report states that the site is partially within a Zone B for flood risk and data from Natural Resources Wales shows that part of the site is at a high flood risk from surface water and small watercourses.
However, the council’s planning report adds that the site is not considered to be at risk from coastal or river flooding and Natural Resources Wales have not raised any concerns.
It also proposed that surface water run-off from the development will be mitigated through a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) which will restrict run-off rates from the site to existing greenfield run-off rates.
Vale of Glamorgan Council Labour member for St Augustines, Cllr Elliot Penn, who often walks past the proposed site and used to be a community councillor at Llandough said he would be sad to see that section of green space go.
But, he added: “With the pressing need of housing and the mitigation over flooding I don’t have a problem with it as being a resident and former community councillor.
“It would have been nice to see a wider green buffer between Cogan Pill and the housing to keep a sense of Cogan Pill being more wild, but I would say based on the documents I have looked at it seems a reasonable proposal.”
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The picture is a fiction – these homes would be alongside a main road with noisy polluting vehicles climbing the hill, opposite a car sales site. The flood assessment found fractured drains, didn’t track rainstorm water draining off the hillside but planned a gully to lead it onto the sideroad. It filled in tickboxes to say the new-housing area drainage with ‘retention pond’ would not worsen the flooding problem – despite the gully onto the road. It makes a mockery of the newish SuDS procedure including adapting to climate change.
Councils will approve anything given the right amount of incentive.