CAMPAIGNERS fighting against plans for 576 homes and a school at Upper Cosmeston Farm in Sully say they have deep concerns that the land poses a danger to people’s health.

The plans – currently in the consultation phase of the planning application – have drawn criticism for many reasons including a lack of infrastructure, pollution, and the impact on the historical heritage of the area.

But part of the land included in the plans has also previously been used as a landfill site for Lavernock Isolation Hospital – which local historian Brian Keitch says dates back to at least the early 1900s and was around until at least the 1920s.

The planning application indicates that soil samples identified potentially hazardous chemicals there.

But campaigners say the application does not alert people to the scale of the hazards or how people living on the proposed site and in the surrounding area will be kept safe if the development goes ahead.

Penarth Times: The purple area is the site of the old landfillThe purple area is the site of the old landfill

Chairman of campaign group Keep Cosmeston Green Michael Garland said: “Residents of Cosmeston have probably had their health already affected by this.

“I have deep concerns that if this site gets disrupted with development those hazards could become significant and more airborne.

“There will be a choice for those who wish to buy a home at the development, but for people who live in the surrounding area will have no choice but to suffer the impact.”

Residents have questioned whether the proposed houses will be “worth anything at all” if the land is found to be of significant danger.

Liberal Democrat MS candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth Alex Wilson compared the site in question to Cosmeston Country Park in Lavernock.

He said: “The park includes sites that were used between 1964 and 1978 as landfill of household waste.

Penarth Times: Campaigners and residents ‘deeply concerned’ over plans to build 576 homes on ‘contaminated land’. Picture: Alex SeabrookCampaigners and residents ‘deeply concerned’ over plans to build 576 homes on ‘contaminated land’. Picture: Alex Seabrook

“The area of interest that could help provide an insight to the type of pollution that can be expected is located at the corner of the north west paddock where the old refuse tip, the woodland and the old western spoil tip meet.

“In 2019 we identified various locations in this area with heavy water contamination. Returning to the site the contaminated environment remains clearly visible.

“We support house building, but we can’t stand in the way and just let this proceed.”

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Government said: “The planning application for the residential development of land at Lower Cosmeston Farm, Penarth, is still subject to publicity and consultation enabling representations to be made to the Local Planning Authority.

Penarth Times: How the new homes could be laid out (Image: Welsh Government/ Austin Smith Lord)How the new homes could be laid out (Image: Welsh Government/ Austin Smith Lord)

"The planning application is supported  by numerous technical reports including one which details the ground conditions and refers to historic contamination and proposed mitigation. It will now be for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to consider the planning application and any representations made.”

A spokesman for the Vale council said: “The Council is currently considering a planning application for the development of this site by the landowner, Welsh Government.

"Any interested party can share their views on this matter by emailing All representations will be full considered along with any issues relating to pollution and contamination as part of the normal planning process.”