Decision delayed on sewage pumping station in Cardiff Park amid pollution and bad smell fears

A decision has been delayed on whether to grant planning permission for a new sewage pumping station at a park in Cardiff.

Welsh Water plans to build the Hailey Park pumping station in Llandaff North to cope with the added pressure on sewers from thousands of new homes being built in the north west of the city.

But residents and local councilors have raised concerns about foul odors that may come from the pumping station, the impact on local wildlife in the park and the risk of pollution to a nearby river.

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Cardiff council’s planning committee was due to vote on whether to grant permission at a meeting on Wednesday April 6, but instead opted to postpone any decision until committee advisers had had a chance to visit the site themselves.

The plans initially included a vent stack, which raised local concerns about foul odors, but this vent stack has now been dropped from the designs. The station would be built near Hailey Park’s north parking lot, in an area of ​​poorly maintained scrubland, with some planting around the facility to hide it from view.

The reason the station is needed is to divert some of the additional sewage from the Plasdŵr housing estate off Llantrisant Road, which will pass through a pipe under the river before being pumped to a sewage treatment plant elsewhere.

During the planning meeting, local councilors raised concerns about 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 whether or not to grant permission.

She said: “Although there was an element of consultation and Welsh Water was to some extent supportive of working with residents, I don’t necessarily think it went far enough. Some of the information sessions they did with residents were not accessible.

“A local, biodiversity-rich, award-winning park is no such place for a facility, which will likely need upgrading within 15 years. We have an interest in protecting our rapidly disappearing green spaces.

Cllr Sean Driscoll, representing Llandaff, said: “We are concerned that in the event of a pump failure or hydraulic overload, raw sewage could flow into the Taff. But we were assured [by Welsh Water] it will not happen. Not only do we have concerns for the species living in and on the Taff, Llandaff Rowing Club is nearby and uses the river for sport and recreation.

It is unclear when the site visit will take place or when the application will come back to the planning committee for a final decision.

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