Thursday, 31 March 2011

January 2011: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Western Power finished draining the resevoir at the end of September and as far as we are aware the maintenance work was completed by the end of November.  However, the supervising engineer Mr. Chris Owens of Atkins has not yet given instructions for the scour valve to be closed.  This means that the recent snowfall and rain will have done nothing to start the refilling process, as all the water is still running out into the Nant Fawr.  We are concerned that it is Western Power's intention is to delay refilling the reservoir for as long as possible, in the hope that the clay cores of the embankments may start to dry out and crack.  We are doing all we can to try and ensure the reservoir is refilled as quickly as possible.
In another development, just before Christmas, The Welsh Assembly Government decided to re-open the second planning inquiry into Western Power's plans to develop a housing estate on the site of Llanishen reservoir.  The inspector at the original inquiry, Mr. R.M. Poppleton, recommended that the development should be allowed.  However, the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Ms. Jane Davidson AM, disagreed with the Inspector's recommendations and rejected the appeal (see details below 17th April 2009).  Western Power challenged the Minister's decision in the courts over some aspects that they believed had not been given sufficient consideration and the Welsh Assembly Government conceded the point.  After a long period of time, during which the reservoir has been listed as a Site of Historic Importance and the adjacent Nant Fawr meadows have been designated as a Local Nature Reserve, the Minister has decided to re-open the original inquiry.  There will be a preliminary meeting of interested parties on February 16th and RAG will be present to represent the views of our members.