Llanishen Reservoir, Cardiff: Western Power Distribution (WPD) Lose Round 3
Inquests and Inquiries, Planning and Environment
WPD’s controversial proposals to redevelop this redundant, and now drained, reservoir in the northern suburbs of Cardiff primarily for residential development have been through several iterations. The first proposals were rejected by the Welsh Ministers after an inquiry in 2007 primarily on grounds of unacceptable impact on the wax cap mushroom communities on the reservoir embankments which are designated as a SSSI. Further proposals were then considered at inquiry in 2008 and refused by the Ministers contrary to the recommendation of the inspector. That decision was overturned by the High Court so the inquiry was re-opened in the summer of 2011. In the interim, largely as a result of pressure from the local residents group, the embankments of the reservoir were listed Grade II. The inspector submitted his report in April 2012 and the Ministers issued their decision a year later in April 2013.
This time the appeal has been dismissed in accordance with the report of the inspector who found that the many benefits linked to the proposal were outweighed by a combination of the harm to the character and appearance to the area of the mini roundabout required to obtain access to the proposals and the substantial and irreversible diminution of the significance of the heritage asset that would arise from the proposals.
So the message is never give up, and list your reservoir embankment whenever you can!
Mark Lowe QC appeared for Cardiff City and County Council in all three inquiries; Anthony Dinkin QC appeared for the local residents group in 2012; Clare Parry appears for them in 2011.