Mere days after the draining of Llanishen Reservoir had finished, news that Cardiff Council was meeting with the Countryside Council for Wales about whether the Nant Fawr corridor should be given legally protected status arrived. Is this the beginning of the end of RAG’s fight?
It all seemed to have become relatively quiet when it came to the debate over Llanishen Reservoir’s future. Back in February the Reservoir Action Group (RAG) said on their website that Western Power Distribution didn’t have consent to drain the reservoir, then a post four days later confirmed that draining was going ahead. Since then the news has been mainly draining related. Until the last week, that is.
Almost ten years have passed since Western Power Distribution’s plans for housing developments around Llanishen Reservoir became public. The proposal caught the attention of many people around Llanishen, Lisvane, and other surrounding areas. RAG formed in 2001. Since then it has grown into a fully-fledged campaigning and lobbying organisation.
The plans themselves, according to a BBC News Wales story, is “the building of 300 homes, a wetlands area, education centre and a new sailing club.” All of these proposals are entirely opposed by RAG, as outlined in their two main objectives on their website.
- To oppose any building development on Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs and the open land surrounding them
- To campaign for the area to be given legally protected status and enhanced as a part of the Nant Fawr Green Corridor
The first point lies almost entirely with them. As long as they continue to oppose it then they are meeting that objective. The second lies with them as well, but it also requires some official input, namely a political one. If the Nant Fawr Corridor is to gain legally protected status, then they need the support of Cardiff Council, The Countryside Council for Wales, and potentially larger political institutions in the shape of The Welsh Assembly and The Houses of Parliament. In fact, Jonathan Evans, the MP for Cardiff North, raised the issue in the House of Commons in July of this year. The cause has certainly gained steam.
But they have been here before. The news that the area is home to several species of rare fungi was not enough to deter WPD from continuing to pursue ways to implement their plans.
WPD refused to comment on the recent developments in this debate. And the news only indicated the two councils were meeting, no word has come of what the likely fate of the Nant Fawr corridor actually is. So campaigners will be the first to admit that they can hardly afford to let their guard down yet.
Posted by Andrew Collins