Llanishen reservoir may have been emptied but that does not mean that the campaigners who have worked so tirelessly to prevent development have given up hope. The campaigners have now focused their attention on the fact that the reservoir is land locked. Western Power Distribution, a US based company, are hoping to buy land around the city beauty spot. The land is crucial to the planned 300 home development in North Cardiff as it is its only access but residents are hoping to halt the sale of any land therefore in turn halting the development.
The land in question is known locally as The meadows and is located behind Rhydypenau Road. The chairman of the Reservoir Action Group (RAG) Mr Andrew Hill has even sought legal advice and knows that the company cannot force the city council to sell the land. He believes that the land cannot be developed as it is land locked and so even though WPD are desperate to develop the site, they cannot due to not being able to access it. WPD may be able to buy land near the rugby club but they would still not be able to access it as they would have to break through the embankment of the reservoir, which is a listed structure.
The site has had repeated planning refusals for the proposed 300 homes. WPD have drained the reservoir after gaining permission from the Environment Agency and it was thought that WPD could force purchasing the surrounding land. Some thought that WPD could even sue the council as they would be preventing them capitalizing on their land value. However RAG had legal advice from a London lawyer who denied this. Anthony Dinkin QC says that he knows of no law that would force the council to sell the land to provide access. He also points out that because the council bought the access land under an old law, the Public Health Act 1875 they can keep it as public open space if they so wish. In effect the council would be the guardians of the land for the public to enjoy.
A spokesman for Cardiff City Council confirmed that they were the owners of the land and had no intention in selling any of it off.