The completion of the award winning Greener Grangetown project was marked by Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn.
Greener Grangetown is an innovative £2 million partnership project between Cardiff Council, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales, supported by the Landfill Communities Fund.
The project uses the latest sustainable drainage (SuDS) techniques to catch, clean and divert rainwater directly into the River Taff instead of collecting and pumping it eight miles to a treatment works in the Vale of Glamorgan and then discharging it out to sea. This is the first time that these techniques have been retrofitted into an urban environment at this scale.
Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Councillor Michael Michael said: “The way the SuDS technology at the heart of Greener Grangetown mimics natural drainage and allows rainwater to be released directly into the river means we can simultaneously improve the management of rainwater in the area and also realise massive energy savings – that alone is pretty impressive, but it’s the way the project has delivered additional benefits for the community that marks it out as special.”
“It’s been a long road to get here, and thanks must go to residents for their patience, but I think most people can see that Greener Grangetown has transformed this part of Cardiff and made it a cleaner, greener place to live.”
The scheme has resulted in:
- 42,480m2 of surface water being removed from the combined waste water network (the equivalent of 10 football pitches).
- An additional 1,600m2 of green space (the equivalent of 4 basketball courts).
- The creation of Wales’ first ever ‘bicycle street’ along one of the busiest sections of the Taff Trail Active Travel route, slowing traffic by design and improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Increased biodiversity – 135 new trees and thousands of shrubs and grasses planted.
- Creation of a community orchard.
- 26 new cycle stands.
- 12 new litter bins.
- 9 new seats and benches.
- Increased resident-only parking spaces.
Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn AM said: “The Greener Grangetown scheme brings multiple benefits to the local community – from the new rain gardens and kerbside planters, which will improve biodiversity in the area, to the dedicated ‘bicycle street’ that provides a safer route for cyclists and pedestrians and improving air quality.
“What’s great about this scheme is how it has involved the Grangetown community at every stage, with input into the original proposals, right through to the final designs.”
“Greener Grangetown is an example of what is possible in a retrofit sustainable drainage system. I hope this scheme will be a catalyst for others across Wales, both in terms of sustainable drainage and partnership working.”
Dwr Cymru’s Managing Director of Wastewater Services, Steve Wilson, said: “We are delighted to have been part of this exciting and innovative project in the heart of the capital city. We are already delivering a number of sustainable drainage projects ourselves to tackle urban flooding so it made perfect sense for us to join with Cardiff Council and Natural Resources Wales on this project.
“The Greener Grangetown project will help improve the way our network operates during heavy rain which in turn will bring clear environmental benefits for decades to come.”
Senior Policy Advisor for Natural Resources Wales, Martyn Evans, said: “Our aim from the very beginning was to ensure that Greener Grangetown could help to create a healthy and resilient local environment that supported economic and social prosperity for generations to come. We can now see how the scheme is helping to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife, deliver water quality improvements in the River Taff and open up new opportunities for people to enjoy walking, cycling and other recreation close to where they live and work. It’s a brilliant example of how organisations and the public can work together to create so many positive outcomes, and we hope this innovative scheme can inspire many more exciting projects across Wales.