Roath Park Dam Project

Developing options for future effectiveness

Roath Park Lake is a manmade reservoir, formed by a dam structure to the south and fed by the Nant Fawr. Cardiff Council is legally responsible for maintaining the publicly owned Roath Park Dam, and routine inspections are required under the Reservoirs Act (1975).

The latest inspection of the reservoir found that the dam’s spillway capacity would not be large enough to withstand a theoretical extreme flooding event and statutory works are now required.

Roath Park spillway

Works to the Spillway

A detailed study is being undertaken to explore the best options to ensure the future effectiveness of the dam, protect lives and livelihoods, and make sure one of Cardiff’s most treasured parks can be enjoyed safely by future generations.

Arup, a leading engineering consultancy, has been appointed to undertake a study to identify the best options. This detailed study will take place in Autumn 2021 and may involve a temporary disruption of access to the promenade across the dam by the lighthouse.

Questions and Answers

Who is responsible for maintaining Roath Park Dam?

Cardiff Council is legally responsible for maintaining the publicly owned Roath Park Dam, and routine inspections are required under the Reservoirs Act (1975).

Will the park have to close?

Various areas of the park near the dam will need to close during the ground investigation works and construction phases. All closures will be planned and communicated in advance to community stakeholders and local residents.  There will be regular updates on Cardiff Council’s social media channels. If changes arise due to unforeseen circumstances, these changes will be communicated as early as possible.

When is the maintenance work due to start and what is it likely to entail?

Ground Investigation works are likely to start in November 2021, where investigations will determine the scope of the project and construction itself. Following community engagement, design and subject to planning determination, construction will begin Nov 2022 and last until late 2023.

How long will the work take?

Ground Investigation works will take up to around a month in November. The works are scheduled to begin Nov 2022 and last until late 2023.

Will the works affect Roath Park lighthouse?

No construction works are planned in the vicinity of the lighthouse. Construction will focus on the dam crest, dam slope into the park and the spillway.

There is the possibility that desilting works may be undertaken in the vicinity, but those works would only be to remove silt that has accumulated since the last time the reservoir was dredged.

Will either Lake Road West or Lake Road East need to close for the works to take place?

At this stage, we do not anticipate needing to close either Lake Road West or Lake Road East.

Will either Lake Road West or Lake Road East require traffic management while the works take place?

It is likely that traffic management will be required at times. With construction traffic and delivery vehicles needing to enter and exit the park, traffic management may be necessary to ensure the safety of park users, the public and construction staff.

Will there be lasting effects on the surrounding biodiversity?

The design will seek to reduce the permanent disruption to the park to a minimum.

Temporary works to excavate and any construction works to the spillway may affect surrounding biodiversity, however every effort will be made to reinstate the existing features of the park on completion, as far as practicable.

Will the landscape change as a result of the works?

The intention is to make minimal changes to the landscape.

Will any trees be removed for the work to be carried out?

Yes. It is likely that some trees will need to be removed in the area to the left of the spillway (looking downstream), close to the Scott Memorial Garden, to facilitate the spillway rebuild.  We will seek to replace any trees that are felled.

Will there be any enhancements to local biodiversity?

Mitigation will be provided for any disturbed important biodiversity.

Potential enhancements have not yet been discussed.

How and when are stakeholders and local communities going to be engaged?

A Community Newsletter highlighting the improvements to the Roath Park Dam structure will be issued on 24th September 2021 to stakeholders and the core consultation zone.

There will be a series of community information events about the project

How will the community and stakeholders be given feedback and kept informed of the project’s progress?

Feedback on the project is welcomed via roathparkdam@grasshopper-comms.co.uk or Freepost GRASSHOPPER CONSULT . Regular updates on the project, any changes to access due to the ground investigations, and further works will be issued on Cardiff Council’s social media channels and the Outdoor Cardiff website, as well as issuing newsletter updates to those who live close to the site.

Who is being consulted about the project?

We have undertaken an extensive stakeholder mapping exercise identifying key stakeholders in the community who should be engaged.

A core consultation zone has been defined with includes 4831 households and 59 businesses in streets around Roath Park and the recreation ground.

Grasshopper Communications is leading regional and local stakeholder engagement including the following sectors: heritage, recreation and outdoors, faith, public services, utilities and infrastructure, environment and sustainability, tourism and economic development, further education and university, transport, local busineses, community facilities, schools, community groups and equalities.

Cardiff Council is leading on political stakeholder engagement including member of Parliament, Senedd Members and ward councillors.

Press releases, social media campaign and posters in the park will be used to inform the wider community of Cardiff and beyond.

How will the community and stakeholders’ views be considered?

We welcome feedback on the project and will seek to address issues that arise.

What are the long-term impacts of climate change in the area?

Climate change will have a significant impact on flooding in Wales.  Storms are likely to be more frequent and of higher intensity, which would result in the dam spillway needing to safely pass an extreme flood event.

What is the Reservoirs Act (1975)?

Reservoirs in England and Wales are regulated under the Reservoirs Act 1975 (enforced by Natural Resources Wales in Wales). The Act exists to protect public safety by reducing the risk of an uncontrolled release of water from large, raised reservoirs and the dangerous flooding this can cause.

Why do we need to manage flood risk?

Roath Park is a well-used public place. Managing flood risk will ensure the future effectiveness of the dam, thus protecting lives and livelihoods, and making sure one of Cardiff’s most treasured parks can be enjoyed safely by future generations.

What is a Flood Risk Management Plan?

A Flood Risk Management Plan is an in-depth explanation and analysis examining the risk of flooding from rivers, lakes, reservoirs and the sea, and how this affects individuals, communities, and businesses.

Who is responsible for managing flood risk?

Cardiff Council is responsible for the lake’s maintenance, which includes managing the flood risk, and is required to undertake regular inspections (under the Reservoirs Act 1975).

What will happen if the improvement works to the dam are not undertaken?

The purpose of the works is to improve the safe passage of flood water through the reservoir and prevent an uncontrolled release of water that could endanger those downstream. If works are not undertaken, in an extreme flood event there could be damage to the dam that causes release of the retained lake and significant increased flooding of areas downstream.

Keeping in touch

If you have any queries or require further information about the project, please contact the project team by telephone, 02920 130 061, or email roathparkdam@grasshopper-comms.co.uk

Roath park

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