The Penarth/Cardiff/ Newport Tidal Lagoon would feature massive walls obscuring the view from Penarth Pier and the Esplanade

The Penarth/Cardiff/ Newport Tidal Lagoon would feature massive masonry walls which would obscure the view from Penarth Pier and the Esplanade. 90 generating turbines would be installed at the Penarth end of the Tidal Lagoon – working almost around the clock

Penarth Town Council has decided against convening a full-scale public-meeting on the controversial scheme to build a huge power-generating tidal lagoon of the shores of Penarth and Cardiff  

The massive rock-boulder walls of the Tidal Lagoon  mask the view of the Bristol Channel and the Somerset Coast (to the North and East)  onscuring the outlook from the entire sea front of Penarth – including Penarth Pier and  Penarth Esplanade. The wall will reach as far as a point due east of Whitcliffe Drive  .

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)  – chairman of Penarth Town Council’s planning committee told members that the Swansea Tidal Lagoon [the precursor project for the Cardiff Lagoon] project had been given the “go-ahead” and was awaiting what he called the “final sign-off” . Cllr Thomas suggested that “people from the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon” should be invited to “come and speak to Penarth Town Council”.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said the phjotographs shown the the planning committee "didn't do justice" to how dominant the development was.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) declared an interest in the matter “as a family member has some dealings with it” – but said he did not intend to vote on the issue.

He thought it was a good idea for the council to meet representatives of the Cardiff Lagoon project  but he said “I wonder in fact, if it’s a big enough issue, whether we can consider actually holding a public meeting to which other people, including “the Penarth Civic Society and the perhaps Coastal Protection Officer from the Vale of Glamorgan Council” and any others could be invited.

Cllr Roberts added “I think this is something that is a big issue for Penarth” –  and there would be concern about the scheme. He wondered whether the council should consider convening a public meeting. Two other councillors expressed their agreement.

However Penarth Council staff officers noted that the Council’s Leisure and Amenities Committee had  already resolved to invite representatives of the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon, Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (leaseholders of Penarth Pier Pavilion) and the Harbourmaster of Cardiff to a committee meeting scheduled for March 16th 2017 .

Cllr Gwyn Roberts again posed the question whether there should not be a public meeting. Cllr Neil Thomas said there were “ a lot of heads nodding” .

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said he was hoping that when the Swansea Lagoon scheme was finally approved there would be not be any provisions “saying you can’t do any more until we’re confident it is going to work”  .

Cllr Thomas said his understanding was there would – after Swansea – be a 2-year moratorium on further schemes –  Cardiff being the next one planned  while they see how many fish the Swansea one chews up – and what impact it has on Swansea” .

Cllr Turner was concerned that Penarth Council could be convening a “public meeting which is very early in the process”. Cllr Gwyn Roberts however pointed out that if the Swansea Lagoon went ahead – “then I think it is a matter of time before the others go” . Cllr Turner said he wanted to be cautious and not “raise expectations”.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)    I think it’s right that we are fully aware of what the intentions are – because this could have massive implications for Penarth as a whole, the Town, the Marina, Cardiff Docks, and I suspect there are going to be very strong objections from the Marina operators and ABP  [Associated British Ports – operators of Cardiff Docks] .

Cllr Ernest said he agreed with what had been said, but considered that the council should carefully monitor developments and keep its “ear to the ground”   . He said it would be more useful  to meet  Cardiff Lagoon representatives as they were in the process of developing any proposals – as this would enable the council to influence them during the planning – rather  than meeting them afterwards, by which time their plans would have been finalised . “It could be preferable from Penarth’s  point of view “ .

Cllr Ernest pointed out that Penarth Council had been “closely involved” when the Cardiff Bay Barrage had been constructed and a Penarth councillor Cllr Percy Chappell –  had been on the board of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation “so we were able to influence what was being developed at that time”.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) seconded Cllr Roberts's ,otion which killed the application stone dead.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) .

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) asked whether it was known what effect the Penarth/Cardiff Tidal Barrage would have on the water quality of Cardiff Bay.

Cllr Thomas said this was a question which could be asked at the meeting of March 16th to which perhaps Penarth Civic Society could be invited – but thought that the “feeling of the meeting[i.e. of the planning committee] was that it would be “premature to extend the meeting.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts asked “So you are not talking about a public meeting then?”

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Thomas said  …Not about a general public meeting in the Paget Rooms – No”.

Cllr Ernest pointed out that members of the public were fully entitled to attend meetings of the Leisure and Amenities Committee .

Cllr Turner said wanted it confirmed that the  March 16th meeting [of the Leisure and Amenities Committee with Cardiff Tidal Lagoon representatives] would be held only to inform councillors on the process. Cllr Thomas confirmed this would be the case.

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) said “Ears to the ground and let’s wait and see”






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  1. Chris David says:

    “How many fish it chews up” Surely the Swansea lagoon should be incorporating measures to avoid this! Part of its success will depend on its positive impact on the environment and would be a factor on whether the Penarth lagoon is perceived viable, wouldn’t it? There are some readers here experienced in the sector- any comments?

    • Joe blow says:

      Chris, how exactly do you suggest fish are protected? Once they get into the main stream of water going through the turbines, they are either going to go through or be caught in some kind of net, which would probably kill them due to the excessive water pressure pushing them into it.

  2. Tom Strickland says:

    Quoting: “The massive rock-boulder walls of the Tidal Lagoon will obscure the view from the entire sea front of Penarth – masking the view of the Bristol Channel and the Somerset Coast (to the North and East) from the entire sea front of Penarth – including Penarth Pier and Penarth Esplanade. The wall will reach as far as a point due east of Whitcliffe Drive .”

    So the view from the whole of the Penarth sea-front, including the pier, will be partially obscured, as you look east. But the rest of the vista of the England coastline will be unobscured.

    As regards the environmental impact: we should hope, and strive to ensure, that the impact of the Swansea pilot facility is properly assessed and that the concerns of orgs such as the RSPB and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are properly addressed and that the impact on fish populations is not too great.

    This all has to be balanced against the need for us to find clean, reliable sources of power. Given what I know at the moment, I’d certainly a plethora of such tidal lagoons to the new (and incredibly expensive) nuke station being built just across the water from Penarth, although I’m waiting to see the results of the Swansea pilot project.

    • Joe blow says:

      Tom, so if you poke out one eye, that’s OK because you still have one left?

      • Tom Strickland says:

        Is having a view degraded with people comparable with having your eyes poked out? No. Please don’t use over-the-top comparisons. From the strength of your reaction (poking eyes out) perhaps you’re basically saying “NIMBY”?

        Yes, the view is degraded. Yes, having a poorer view is not a nice prospect.

        If you’re saying that you prefer to keep the wide sweeping vista view from Penarth, then I have to admit that I sympathise – I wouldn’t put it so strongly, but I sympathise. I love the view from the pier (leaving aside Cardiff docks, which aren’t much to look at). However, I’d like to suggest that there are many points to consider when planning new power stations. Whether it is nuclear, coal, gas, solar, wind, tidal… they all have their pros and cons and it is complicated.

        Just for the sake of argumen, let’s put aside all of the issues that should hopefully be clarified by the pilot project. Are you against the placement of this particular tidal lagoon, or are you against them in general? I think that tidal lagoon power does seem to be an attractive way of getting reliable, predictable, affordable electricity and so it deserves at least the Swansea trial. If concerns such as its possible effect on fish populations can be addressed by the trial, it looks as though it could be a useful addtion to the mix of electricity sources. We do not have to pay someone else to dig it out of the ground, or play politics with foreign powers or go to war in order to do so (unlike gas, oil, coal or nuclear). It is (over the long term) very low in pollution (ditto). It is much more predictable, than solar or wind. Surely you can see that there are some advantages to this technology that must be weighed up against having the view from our collective back yard slightly spoiled?

  3. sjleworthy says:

    for the the layman, it would be interesting to see accurate visuals from eye level on the Prom. i’m sure these exist somewhere when the initial proposals were submitted.

  4. snoggerdog says:

    so if (im still alive) & standing on the end of the fishing pier on a clear day will that mean i wont be able to see the people on the grand pier in weston or clevedon waving at me (at least i think its waving they are doing) !

  5. Timon says:

    So how can the people of Penarth be refused a say on the impact of this monolith? It will change the flow of tides, the run of the fish and cetaceans, the deposit of pebbles and sand, the clarity and cleanliness of water, the Severn Bore and bird life and myriad other effects We need our elected representatives to elicit information not disinclination. We deserve to know and to assent. I have no doubt that clean energy will result from the dirty construction, but the environmental impact is wider than this simple trade-off. Meet us half way, at the Paget Rooms.

    • Tom Strickland says:

      I agree with all of the points that you have listed as needing addressing. It’s early days though, isn’t it? This is the council meeting the company about a possible future project and, as far as I can tell, for that meeting, presumably the first of many, the public will not be invited. That is not the same as the people of Penarth being refused a say about the issue. Is it? If this is buldozed through without proper public consultation, I will be furious, but nothing here seems to suggest that is happening. This is seems to be about whether the public can attend one initial meeting between company and council.
      It would be interesting if anyone could point to a lack of public meetings regarding the Swansea project, as that would be more cause for worry here. The council, or councillors, could also state what they’ll ask in this meeting, to allay people’s concerns.
      Please don’t think that I don’t think that the points that you’ve raised need to be addressed, both in non-public meetings between the company and council and in open public meetings in future.

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