LANDSLIDE DANGER CLOSES PENARTH MARINA’S TERRA NOVA WAY

The latest landslip appears to have caused a fissure to open up on Vale of Glamorgan land on the edge of the Penarth Heights development

The latest landslip appears to have caused a fissure to open up on Vale of Glamorgan land on the edge of the Penarth Heights development immediately above Tec Marina

The main road through Penarth Marina is closed tonight because of the risk of a landslide between the roundabout at the junction of Penarth Portway and Terra Nova Way and a position just east of  the Tesco superstore.

The road closure announcement issued at 15:00 hours today said  “Terra Nova Way, Penarth, closed due to landslip between Marconi Avenue and Penarth Portway. Road closed for safety reasons”.

A deep crack appears to have opened up in the land on the edge of the escarpment

A deep crack can be seen in the land on the edge of the escarpment

 

Many motorists ignored the Road Closed signs . Terra Nova Way is the only route to each some of the homes in the Marina area

Many motorists ignored the Road Closed signs just after Tesco and near Tec Marina  . Terra Nova Way is the only route to  some of the homes in the Marina area

It was later established that South Wales Police had initially raised the alarm and alerted the Vale of Glamorgan Council Highways Department – which then erected road signs and diversions at both ends of the closed-off section of Terra Nova Way.

The signs were being ignored by many drivers . The road is the only way to reach some of the properties adjacent to Terra Nova Way including the “Tec Marina” offices. There was no debris to be seen at road level.

On February 5th it local residents said three chunks of land on the slope had given way during tree fellling

On February 5th local residents said three chunks of land on the slope had given way during tree felling

Further along the escarpment – again on Vale of Glamorgan land adjacent to Penarth Heights  –  scores of trees have been removed from the steep slope in the last few days and there appears to have been a landslip just below the crest of the escarpment –  although whether this had occurred before or after the tree clearance is not known.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council said in January this year that “the cliff has been rated as being at significant risk of slippage since 2004. A number of measures have been taken since, such as clearing the cliff of loose material and installing netting. However, these have not prevented further landslips.”

The landslip exposed the roots of sawn-down trees which had once held the earth in place.

The landslip exposed the roots of sawn-down trees which had once held the earth in place.

The Council said that a report in 2011 found that uncontrolled tree growth to be one of the principle factors in causing slippages and added that “the most recent inspection, undertaken in 2014, recommended that work be undertaken to improve the stability of the slope.”

Local residents and members of the Penarth Marina Residents Association however complained vociferously about the tree-felling operation – claiming it would destabilise the ground and wreak havoc on local wildlife.

A police helicopter hovered in the vicinity this afternoon - but it's not known if its presence was connected with the landslip alert.

A police helicopter hovering above the landslip this afternoon – assessing the situation from the air .

A police helicopter was seen hovering over the area earlier this afternoon and South Wales Police later confirmed it had been called in to carry out an aerial assessment of the situation .

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council is said to have admitted that the tree cutting in the Marina has been "paid for by the developers of Penarth Heights"

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council is said to have admitted that the tree cutting in the Marina has been “paid for by the developers of Penarth Heights”

Tonight the Penarth Marina Residents’ Association said that the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council Cllr Neil Moore had admitted in writing that  “the tree cutting is being funded by the developer of Penarth Heights.” . 

The statement from the Penarth Marina Residents Association released tonight by its  chairman Dr Martin Whitehill reads as follows:-

The Vale of Glamorgan’s own expert surveyors rated the risk of land slip as being ‘trivial’, the lowest risk level. Regardless, the Council decided to cut down the trees in front of Penarth Heights development despite the advice and wishes of Penarth Marina residents. The Council denied any link between this action, the Council and Penarth Heights developers.

Dr Martin Whitehill is chairman of Penarth Marina and Haven Residents' Association

Dr Martin Whitehill is chairman of Penarth Marina and Haven Residents’ Association

“The residents advised the Council management and the ward representatives that when they cut the trees last time, some ten years ago, there were disastrous results. In a subsequent period of heavy rain due to the lack of tree foliage coverage, plus the fact that the cut down trees were no longer sucking water out of the escarpment, the build up of excess water within the escarpment caused mud and land slides. There are now areas of bare rock where the soil was completely washed away so no foliage can extract the rain out of the escarpment in those parts. For this reason, the Council were implored not to repeat the mistakes. The Council refused to heed the residents’ warnings”.

“The Council’s contractor has not even finished the work this year and already the mud and land slides have started. The Vale of Glamorgan Council Leader has now admitted in response to a written request from a Conservative Assembly Member that the tree cutting is being funded by the developer of Penarth Heights.”

The Road Closed sign at the roundabout at Western end of Terra Nova Way

The Road Closed sign at the roundabout at Eastern end of Terra Nova Way tonight

Tonight South Wales Police said the Highways Agency – in association with the Vale of Glamorgan Council – had has carried out an assessment on Terra Nova Way and had said it is “safe” to re-open  – but will continue to monitor the position over the next few days.

The tree clearance has improved the view for some Penarth Heights residents.

The tree clearance has improved the view for some Penarth Heights residents.

UPDATE February 9th 2015:

PENARTH HEIGHTS RESIDENTS “NOT AFFECTED” BY LANDSLIDE

A spokesperson for Crest Nicholson said today : “We are aware that there has been a land slide on Vale of Glamorgan Council owned and managed land, adjacent to our Penarth Heights development. However, no properties or residents at Penarth Heights have been directly affected by this incident. Crest Nicholson would also like to clarify that no request for the removal of trees in this particular area has been made.”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council said it is “continuing to monitor a stretch of embankment near to the Penarth Heights development that saw a small landslip as a result of heavy rain on Sunday.”  The council said that “After visiting the site at the request of South Wales Police, the Council’s highways team took a decision to temporarily close a section of Terra Nova Way to enable a geotechnical engineer to examine the landslide. The road has now been reopened. Further inspections will now take place to determine the cause of the landslip and whether any work can be undertaken to prevent further slips in the future.”

 

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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9 Responses to LANDSLIDE DANGER CLOSES PENARTH MARINA’S TERRA NOVA WAY

  1. CelticMan says:

    Can we put the trees back please?

  2. Christopher David says:

    So lets ne clear- has this land slip taken place where the council recently removed the trees it was asked not remove in their entirety? Can anyone give a categorical answer? Forget about the timings- just the geography. If so this needs a proper looking into. I wonder what the cost of the Helicopter alone was before we start on the core issues. So- anyone know what the facts are here?

  3. LeighA says:

    I understand the area in question had not had any work done on it when the land slip was initially reported and the contractors only moved onto this area following the initial report. Let’s be honest with the volume of rain over the past couple of months combined with the very high winds it is very likely that some of the trees perched precariously on the escarpment were bound to come down whether assisted by the contractors or by Mother Nature!

  4. Peter Williams says:

    Council tree felling may have caused landslide which killed couple, inquest told

    A landslide which killed a couple by crushing their car as they drove through a tunnel on July 7, 2012, may have been caused by the removal of more than 42 trees by the local council, an inquest was told

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10660626/Council-tree-felling-may-have-caused-landslide-which-killed-couple-inquest-told.html

  5. Frank Evans says:

    Councillors know best. That includes tree felling. No connection between the landslip and the recent tree removal. Maybe they could place some large concrete bunkers or a 45deg skate board park to hold the unstable bank in place.

  6. AK says:

    Vale of Glamorgan Council knows best, they are experts in everything.

    * sarcasm, if you are in any doubt

  7. Bobby says:

    In the close up photograph you can see areas of grass growing on the exposed soil which would suggest that the slip, in that area at least, hasn’t just happened.

  8. Christopher David says:

    Not getting anything concrete here- pun intended.

  9. Ivor Bagman says:

    Meanwhile –
    Another sapling destroyed
    In Plymouth Road !

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