Please disclose documents relating to the 'Plasdwr Sewer Reinforcement Scheme’

max wallis made this Environmental Information Regulations request to Welsh Water
You only have a right in law to access information about the environment from this authority
This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Welsh Water,
Please disclose the request from Redrow Homes and your agreement with them to the requisition connection for the Plasdwr development, documents on how you reached the decision not to offer a simple connection to the main sewer to Cog Moors STW and how instead you reached the decision for a sewer diversion into Hailey Park and into the main sewer east of the River Taff. Please include records of discussions with Redrows and Cardiff Council on this and agreements on payments from Redrows and to Cardiff Council for use of the parkland. Please confirm as stated by Arup (4.2.3) on your behalf that Welsh Water "considers that the proposed development would futureproof the existing sewerage network and would accommodate additional population growth and housebuilding in northern Cardiff" and supply documentation supporting this view.

Yours faithfully,
max wallis

Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

Dear Mr Wallis

 

Request for information

We refer to your request for information, was received on 6^th April 2022.

We are dealing with your request as one made under the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 (“the Regulations”).

In accordance with the Regulations, we will respond to your request within
20 working days of the date of receipt.

For completeness, we advise that the Information Commissioner’s Office
states that the time period for responding should be calculated from the
day after the request is received.

In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact us on email
[1][email address

We have assigned reference EIR/1113/2022 to your request. Please kindly
note this in all correspondence with us regarding this matter.

Yours sincerely

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

 

 

_______________________________________________________ Dwr Cymru Welsh
Water is firmly committed to water conservation and promoting water
efficiency. Please log on to our website www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency
to find out how you can become water wise. Mae Dwr Cymru Welsh Water wedi
ymrwymo i warchod adnoddau dwr a hyrwyddo defnydd dwr effeithiol. Mae
cyngor i' ch helpu i ddefnyddio dwr yn ddoeth yn
www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency

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Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

Our Reference: EIR/1113/2022

 

 

Dear Mr Wallis

Request for information

We write further to your request for information dated 6^th of April 2022,
which we have been considering under
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

We write to explain, we’ve attempted to answer and collate the necessary
data in order to respond to your request within the 20 working days. But
we’re sorry, we’ve been unable to achieve this, due to the volume of
results we’ve received from our system searches.

 

Whilst that work is at an advantage stage, we will need to extend the time
in which we have to respond under the Regulations. As such, we will now
need until the 23^rd of May to respond.

 

In the meantime, if you have any further queries, you can contact us on
email at [1][email address].

 

Yours faithfully,  

 

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________ Dwr Cymru Welsh
Water is firmly committed to water conservation and promoting water
efficiency. Please log on to our website www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency
to find out how you can become water wise. Mae Dwr Cymru Welsh Water wedi
ymrwymo i warchod adnoddau dwr a hyrwyddo defnydd dwr effeithiol. Mae
cyngor i' ch helpu i ddefnyddio dwr yn ddoeth yn
www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency

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Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

Our Reference: EIR/1113/2022

 

Dear Mr Wallis,

 

Request for information

RE: Plasdwr Sewer Reinforcement Scheme

 

We write further to your request for information dated 6^th of May 2022,
which we have been considering under
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. To assist with addressing
the questions included in your email we can provide the following in
response:

 

Q.1 Please disclose the request from Redrow Homes and your agreement with
them to the requisition connection for the Plasdwr development

 

The works that the developer has asked us to undertake are to comply with
the relevant planning conditions relating to the development, to ensure
that connections are made to a location on the public sewerage system
which has the capacity to accommodate the flows without detriment to the
environment or the service we are providing to customers.

 

The request from the developer contains sensitive information, therefore
in accordance with the Regulations, if one of the exceptions applies, we
do not have to disclose the information.  In these circumstances, we are
of the opinion that Regulation 12(5)(e) Commercial or Industrial
information regulation applies. 

 

Whilst we appreciate that there is a public interest in transparency, we
feel that this is outweighed by the need to safeguard the commercial
interests of third parties that we enter into contractual arrangements
with. 

 

Q.2 Documents on how you reached the decision not to offer a simple
connection to the main sewer to Cog Moors STW and how instead you reached
the decision for a sewer diversion into Hailey Park and into the main
sewer east of the River Taff.

 

The developer commissioned a Hydraulic Modelling Assessment (HMA) to
identify solutions to accommodate the development flows in the public
sewerage system without detriment to the environment or the service
provided to existing customers.

 

The HMA provided options for communicating the development flows. The HMA
was submitted by Redrow Homes as part of its planning application
submission and is available via Cardiff County Council’s Planning Register
under application reference 19/02887/MJR.

 

Following the receipt of the request from the developer to provide a
communication to the public sewerage system, further consideration and
design works have been undertaken. A point of adequacy in order to
accommodate the development’s foul flows has been identified at Hailey
Park, Cardiff. The communication of the development flows to this
connection point on the public sewerage system is predicated on the
removal of the equivalent volume of surface water flows which currently
enters the public sewerage system within the sewer catchment area. At this
juncture we should clarify that the scheme is not a diversion of existing
catchment sewerage flows and neither it is a diversion of our existing
sewerage assets in the catchment.

 

Details of any internal discussions as to how we arrived at this decision
would contain commercially sensitive and/or confidential information.
Therefore, we are of the opinion that Regulation 12(4)(e) Internal
Communications regulation applies. We can advise that to receive the whole
of the development’s foul flows, there are only two sewerage systems that
were available, however a communication to the sewerage system that
discharges to Cog Moors Wastewater Treatment Works was immediately
discounted due to its complexity.

 

Q.3 Please include records of discussions with Redrow and Cardiff Council
on this and agreements on payments from Redrow to Cardiff Council for use
of the parkland.

 

On reviewing the information held, we don’t consider this as environmental
information that is disclosable to you.  

 

Q.4 Please confirm as stated by Arup (4.2.3) on your behalf that Welsh
Water "considers that the proposed development would futureproof the
existing sewerage network and would accommodate additional population
growth and housebuilding in northern Cardiff" and supply documentation
supporting this view

 

As explained above, the developer has asked us to undertake works to
comply with the relevant planning conditions relating to the development,
to ensure that connections are made to a location on the public sewerage
system which has the capacity to accommodate the foul flows without
detriment to the environment or the service we are providing to customers.

 

This connection is required for the discharge of domestic foul flows from
the development (i.e., foul sewage from new dwellings, schools, and
businesses) to a point of adequacy on the public sewerage system. We are
only required to provide capacity for the development flows.

 

We hope that this response is clear. Should you have any questions, please
contact us by email at [1][email address].

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within 40 working days of the date of receipt of this response
and should be addressed to General Counsel and Company Secretary, Linea
Building, Fortran Road, St Mellons, Cardiff, CF3 0LT

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________ Dwr Cymru Welsh
Water is firmly committed to water conservation and promoting water
efficiency. Please log on to our website www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency
to find out how you can become water wise. Mae Dwr Cymru Welsh Water wedi
ymrwymo i warchod adnoddau dwr a hyrwyddo defnydd dwr effeithiol. Mae
cyngor i' ch helpu i ddefnyddio dwr yn ddoeth yn
www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency

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Dear Welsh Water,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Welsh Water's handling of my FOI request 'Please disclose documents relating to the 'Plasdwr Sewer Reinforcement Scheme’'. I use the numbering you gave to points in my request

Q1 You suggest 12(5)(e) applies to documents between you and Redrow, but do not show such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest; indeed you would have to disclose the documents in connection with the planning application if the Council asked. You do not claim disclosure would adversely affect confidentiality; indeed, as a quasi-public body such information should be disclosed to make your considerations transparent and show you don't give a favourable deal to one developer over another.
You claim the information is “sensitive”, but this word is not in the EIR; the word seems to cover DCWW being embarrassed to admit sewage treatment works are overloaded and CSOs are seriously over-used. Untreated sewage discharges to rivers and sea are a publicly sensitive issue, but 12(5)(e) cannot be used to protect you from embarrassment.
If there were commercial details that it’s legitimate to withhold, 12(11) says you cannot withhold the whole document when those details could easily be redacted.
Your answer shows you breaching 12(2) presumption in favour of disclosure, is saying you “feel” the “need to safeguard the commercial interests of third parties” over-rides this. You write “outweighs” but have done no weighing.

Q2 Your diversionary response is unacceptable. The HMA was based on the Strategic Foul Drainage plan (discharge of Cdn 24) predicated on taking the sewage flow to Cog Moors or on-site sewage treatment plant. You need to supply documents on the “further consideration and design works … undertaken”.

Q3 “records of discussions with Redrow and Cardiff Council” are part of the planning for managing sewage and run-off, so normally this is treated as environmental information, as in Environmental Impact Assessment law. If you believed it was not environmental, you should have disclosed it under the FoI Act 2000.

Q4 As you don’t supply supporting information, please confirm you don’t have any and that you no longer support Arup’s statement.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,
max wallis

Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

Our Reference: EIR/1113/2022

 

 

Dear Mr Wallis

Request for Information

We write following your email below.

 

We can confirm, the matter has been referred for an Internal Review and in
accordance with the Regulations, we will respond to your request within 40
working days, but we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully
Dŵr Cymru Customer Services

 

 

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Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

Our Reference: EIR/1113/2022

Dear Mr Wallis

I refer to your email below requesting an Internal Review of our response to your request for information which we are treating as a request for information under the EIR as we are not subject to the FOI regulation.

By way of an update, I am investigating the concerns you have raised but due to absence am unable to respond in full with the outcome of my Internal Review until close of business next Friday 12th August. However, in the meantime, I wanted to let you know that given the level of concern you have, our Head of Development Planning, would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the issues more widely, if this is something you would find helpful. I will in any event send you the outcome of my Internal Review next Friday.

Yours Sincerely

Nicola Williams
Legal & Compliance Director
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

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Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

2 Attachments

Our Reference: EIR/1113/2022

 

Dear Mr Wallis

 

I refer to your email of 8 June requesting an internal review of our
response to your request for information dated 6th of May 2022.

 

Dŵr Cymru is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  We have
therefore been considering your request for information under the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“the Regulations”), as
referred to in our previous correspondence to you. 

 

In conducting this internal review, I have therefore considered our
obligations under the Regulations, and set out my conclusions in relation
to your queries around our response to your original questions below:

 

Q1. Please disclose the request from Redrow Homes and your agreement with
them to the requisition connection for the Plasdwr development

 

Your email of 8 June asked us to clarify our application of exemption
12(5)(e) of the Regulations to the information you requested.  Having
reviewed the matter, I believe that our response could have been clearer.
The requirements set out by the Plas Dŵr development planning permission
and associated conditions prompted Redrow to meet with us in respect to
the delivery of the scheme and to comply with the planning conditions. 
The only agreement we have in place with Redrow relates to the mechanism
for payment which I agree is commercially confidential. However, we should
have explained that we considered redacting elements of the agreement to
enable us to share it with you but it would not have been possible to
redact it in a way which would retain meaningful environmental
information. 

 

Q2. Documents on how you reached the decision not to offer a simple
connection to the main sewer to Cog Moors STW and how instead you reached
the decision for a sewer diversion into Hailey Park and into the main
sewer east of the River Taff.

 

I am satisfied that we explained the process in detail in our previous
response.  There was no “simple solution” and we followed the principles
in the Water Industry Act in agreeing the infrastructure required for the
new development which includes providing an appropriate technical and cost
effective solution for Redrow.  We haven’t previously disclosed a copy of
the HMA because it is in the public domain, but we are happy to do so, and
attach it to this email.

 

Q3. Please include records of discussions with Redrow and Cardiff Council
on this and agreements on payments from Redrow to Cardiff Council for use
of the parkland.

 

I am satisfied with our original response. To provide further context, we
do not hold records of discussions with Redrow and Cardiff Council.  We
also don’t hold information on agreements on payments from Redrow to
Cardiff Council – even if we did this would not be classed as
environmental information.  As mentioned above, we are not subject to the
Freedom of Information Act. 

 

Q4. As you don’t supply supporting information, please confirm you don’t
have any and that you no longer support Arup’s statement.

 

In response to this question, I advise that the initial statement from
Arup has been updated and a revised planning statement has been submitted
as part of the planning application which is on Cardiff Council’s website
and is also attached to this email.  

 

I hope that this clarifies the position for you. As I mentioned in my
email to you last Friday,  given the level of concern you have, our Head
of Development Planning would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to
discuss the issues more widely. Please let us know if this is something
you would find helpful. 

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this internal review, you can
apply to the Information Commissioner, who will consider whether Dŵr Cymru
has complied with its obligations under the Regulations. You can find out
more about how to do this, and about the Regulations in general, on the
Information Commissioner’s website at: [1]www.ico.org.uk. Complaints to
the Information Commissioner can be made via the “report a concern”
section of the Information Commissioner’s website.

 

Alternatively, the Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane

Wilmslow, Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Nicola Williams

Legal and Compliance Director

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

 

_______________________________________________________ Dwr Cymru Welsh
Water is firmly committed to water conservation and promoting water
efficiency. Please log on to our website www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency
to find out how you can become water wise. Mae Dwr Cymru Welsh Water wedi
ymrwymo i warchod adnoddau dwr a hyrwyddo defnydd dwr effeithiol. Mae
cyngor i' ch helpu i ddefnyddio dwr yn ddoeth yn
www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency

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Environmental Information Requests, Welsh Water

2 Attachments

Yours sincerely

 

Nicola Williams

Legal and Compliance Director

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

 

_______________________________________________________ Dwr Cymru Welsh
Water is firmly committed to water conservation and promoting water
efficiency. Please log on to our website www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency
to find out how you can become water wise. Mae Dwr Cymru Welsh Water wedi
ymrwymo i warchod adnoddau dwr a hyrwyddo defnydd dwr effeithiol. Mae
cyngor i' ch helpu i ddefnyddio dwr yn ddoeth yn
www.dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency

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