Cardiff North politicians astounded by granting of reservoir drain off permit

19/07/10

Cardiff North Assembly Member, Jonathan Morgan and Member of Parliament, Jonathan Evans, have expressed their astonishment at the decision made by the Environment Agency today to grant Western Power Distribution (WPD) a licence to completely drain off the water at Llanishen Reservoir.

On the final day of the Environment Agency’s official assessment of WPD’s application for a discharge consent, the Agency’s permit team determined that a licence should be granted under Section 90 of the Water Resources Act 1991 to WPD, which will give them legal permission to drain down the remaining water in the reservoir.

Assembly Member Jonathan Morgan said:

“Western Power has been determined to get its own way on this issue despite the protestations of residents who live near reservoir or use its water and surrounding land for leisure and recreation.

“I am frankly dismayed by the lack of powers the Environment Agency possesses to stop, what is in my mind and in the minds of the residents of Llanishen, needless vandalism of the city’s most scenic beauty spots.”

Jonathan Evans, the MP for Cardiff North said:

“I am extremely surprised at today’s determination, after all there is still no clear reason why Western Power Distribution actions to drain down the reservoir to inspect is critical to improving its safety?

“The only thing that draining the reservoir will do is increase the safety risks of the site. They seem hell bent to use every avenue at their disposal to bring about the destruction of the site.

“Despite this determination, this is certainly not the end of our fight to save Llanishen reservoir. I firmly believe there has to be a change to the reservoir safety laws that are being used by WPD to overrule all objections and I have been pursuing this in Parliament.

"In the recent House of Commons debate, the Government signalled a clear willingness to change the law so that the Institute of Civil Engineers can adjudicate on the serious conflict of view between Atkins, the civil engineering inspectors acting for WPD and two other independent inspectors who have examined the proposal. In these circumstances it would demonstrate proper corporate responsibility if WPD and Atkins, their advisers, suspended their destructive plan to drain the reservoir until the law is changed in the autumn. Rushing ahead in advance of this change in the law says everything about their true agenda.

“In the mean time, Jonathan Morgan and I will pursue other options to prevent the long-term damage of this historic landmark.”