A so-called Environmental Impact Scoping Report on the huge Cardiff Tidal Lagoon project (which has been produced by the scheme’s own backers Tidal Lagoon Cardiff Ltd) – says the project could :-
- Send treated sewage from Cardiff and Penarth to the holiday beaches at Barry
- “Impede” ships going up the Severn Estuary to Newport
- Add to the noise in the Severn Estuary
- Impact upon the “significant” and “unspoiled” views out to sea from Penarth
- Reduce the volume of visitors and tourists in Penarth
- Increase road traffic in the Cardiff and Penarth areas
SEWAGE: The report says the huge Cardiff/ Penarth Tidal Barrage would so alter water flows in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel that it could push treated sewage, (currently discharged into the sea off Lavernock) onto the bathing beaches of Barry.
Currently raw sewage from a pumping station on Penarth Esplanade and from a similar station in Western Cardiff is pumped by underground pipeline to Cog Moors where the sewage is treated before being discharged out into the Bristol Channel off Lavernock below the low tide level.
However the Scoping Report on the power-generating Tidal Lagoon project says that the treated sewage discharged at Lavernock is “likely to be affected by changes in dispersion” and has “potential to affect Barry Bathing waters ”
The treated sewage discharged at Lavernock comes not only from Penarth and West Cardiff but also from Sully, Wenvoe and part of Barry.
VIEWS FROM PENARTH: The Tidal Lagoon Scoping Report admits the Tidal Lagoon could have an impact on the outlook from Penarth from what it calls “Penarth Registered Park and Garden with its ‘significant views’ (as defined by Cadw) looking seaward from the Welsh coast.”
[ PDN Note: In fact the huge 40 foot high rock and concrete wall of the Tidal Lagoon would extend all the way from Cardiff, past Penarth Head , Penarth Pier, Penarth Esplanade and further south along the Cliff Walk approximately as far as a line drawn out to sea to the East from Whitcliffe Drive. It would totally obscure the view of the Severn Estuary and the Somerset Coast from Penarth Esplanade and Penarth Pier.]
SHIPPING : The Environmental Scoping Report also admits that the barrage would “impede” ships bound for Newport. They would have to be to be diverted East to skirt the huge barrage and probably take the longer course East of the Monkstone Lighthouse both on “inward and outward bound voyages from Newport”. [ i.e. most shipping would have to use the Bristol side of the Bristol Channel ].
NOISE : The potential noise levels from the 90 power-generating turbines -[ all of which would be at the Penarth end of the Tidal Lagoon] – is also considered by the Tidal Barrage Scoping Report. However the report attempts to assuage concerns about noise levels by making the tenuous claim that “Estuaries by their nature (relatively shallow with large volumes of water movements) are naturally noisy environments.” The report also refers to the land use of “popular seafront destinations such as Penarth” – thus wrongly implying that Penarth seafront itself is already noisy.
The report says that following liaison with City of Cardiff Council [ but apparently not with the Vale of Glamorgan Council ] “automated noise monitoring” should be undertaken at “residential locations near to the landfall at Penarth Marina or Ferry Court” . [PDN Note: No noise monitoring is proposed for Penarth Esplanade or the Penarth sea-front as a whole.]
TOURISM The Environmental Scoping Report says preliminary research into the impacts on tourism of other significant infrastructure projects has revealed that the most likely effects may relate to what it calls “Perceptions surrounding the visual impact of the [Tidal Lagoon ] with visitors placing value on an ‘unspoilt’ local environment, together with the importance of views across the Estuary from visitor accommodation businesses, attractions and users of recreational routes”
The authors of the report – say the negative effect the lagoon could have on tourism would be mitigated by the number of construction workers coming to stay in local hotels and guest houses.
Somewhat crassly, the report lists the “positive impacts as a result of workers providing welcome off-season business to accommodation providers, pubs and shops” and also notes the “potential negative impacts” as a result of the “take-up of accommodation space by construction workers during the main holiday season, possibly leading to reductions in visits to local attractions.”
[PDN Note: The report does not go on to forecast what sort of state the blighted Penarth tourist industry would be left in after construction work is complete and the huge concrete and rock-armour curtain has been erected across Penarth’s seafront.]
The report also tentatively suggests the Cardiff/Penarth Tidal Lagoon could become a “tourist generator” in its own right – pointing out that 70,000 people a year go to look at the La Rance Estuary in France
TRAFFIC : The report says there would be a further impact on tourism deriving from increased traffic on the local road network due to construction of the Tidal Lagoon
Project. [PDN Note: The report does not mention the impact on road congestion during construction for Penarth commuters ]
YACHTING AND BOATING AND WATER RECREATION: There is only nominal mention in the report on the effects that the Cardiff / Penarth Tidal Lagoon would have on the thousands of leisure craft and fishing vessels now operating from Penarth and Cardiff Bay and no detailed analysis of the navigational issues which would arise.
FISH KILLING : Despite several pages of the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon Environmental Impact Scoping Report being devoted to an analysis of fish stocks in the Bristol Channel the report gives no estimates of the volume of fish which would be killed by the 90 underwater turbines . [PDN Note: Natural Resrouces Wales have estimated that 21% of migrating salmon and 25% of sea trout could be killed by the Swansea Tidal Lagoon every year – but these figures are disputed by the Swansea scheme’s backers]