Flooding in the Park

Flooding in the Park

Because of the exceptionally wet weather we experienced in February, and the flooding which occurred as a result of so much rain, we have put together the following information to answer questions about the drainage of Underhill Park and the impact of the proposed development.

Photo by Jim Young


Current Position

We all know that Underhill Park floods and that it acts as a holding area during times of heavy rain. However, the Council’s engineer has advised that such flooding does not affect third parties or the highway because the Park is so low lying. In his view, the surface water within the Park has to be dealt with on site via natural filtration and evaporation. Natural filtration can be assisted by constructing soakaways and the efficiency of these is determined by the ground conditions.

Thanks to Mumbles Community Council (MCC), a lot of information is available on the ground conditions. MCC commissioned studies by Earth Science Partnership in February 2010 and also in January 2011 and 2012 in which water levels in six boreholes were monitored and infiltration rates tested using two trial pits. The boreholes have also provided information on the changes in ground structure by depth.

Subsequently, land drainage was introduced across the main rugby pitch and large soakaways were constructed to intercept the run off from the access road and car park area.

Impact of the development

The Phase 1 buildings are to be located above the area which often floods but, in order not to exacerbate the problem, any surface water arising from the proposed development area will be recycled or diverted to soakaways. These requirements are built into the plans and costs for Phase 1.

The largest impact will be from the proposed all-weather pitch.

Prior to submitting the 2019 planning application for Phase 1, CB3 Consult were commissioned by MCA to advise on the best location for the all-weather pitch and on the design of suitable soakaways. This work included Earth Science Partnership carrying out further investigations including determining infiltration rates at three locations within the Park. Based on the information, CB3 Consult has advised on the size of soakaways required to take the surface water discharge from the proposed development. Diverting the surface water run-off to soakaways from such a large area of the park should reduce the scale of flooding at times of heavy rain. The cost of providing these soakaways is also included in the cost estimates for Phase 1.

Before work can start MCA need to secure an approval from Natural Resources Wales for a sustainable drainage scheme. This is a requirement of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and MCA will therefore be appointing a specialist engineer to prepare this scheme and seek the necessary approval.

Read more about the plans for Underhill Park and the progress we’ve made

£10,000 from Joe’s Ice Cream for Go Underhill

£10,000 from Joe’s Ice Cream for Go Underhill

MCA is thrilled to announce that Swansea’s favourite ice cream maker, Joe’s, is making a £10,000 donation to the Go Underhill development.

The team at Joe’s, which has been a core part of Mumbles since 1984, are keen to see the much-needed development happen and decided that they could help this by formally showing their support and donating to Go Underhill.

The announcement is a huge boost to the project as MCA strives to secure and raise the funds needed to get Phase 1 of the Underhill Park development started. This includes new public toilets, a community hub and café, new changing facilities for sports teams, a new all-weather pitch, some external landscaping and a new toddlers’ play area.

Owner of Joe’s, Dominic Hughes, said:

“The Go Underhill development is a fantastic community project that we are proud to support. Outdoor play and team sport are so important for everyone, from children through to adults of all ages.


“We expect this project to bring great joy and happiness to Mumbles and the wider community and we hope that generations of our loyal customers will enjoy the new facilities for years to come.”

The announcement of Joe’s decision to donate comes hot on the heels of the public meeting held by MCA in January. At the event, MCA Chair, Simon Tse, updated people on the project and posed the challenge of what we, as a community, can do to help get the development underway. Following the meeting, a number of individuals and businesses came forward to offer help with, amongst other things, building materials, equipment and labour; construction skills; fundraising and donations.

Chair of Trustees, Simon Tse, said

“Receiving a £10,000 donation from Joe’s, which is an iconic part of Mumbles and Swansea, is fantastic news. We are very grateful to them, not just for the funding, but also the endorsement this gives to Go Underhill.


“We are just launching our community funding drive and hope that the support from Joe’s will lead the way and inspire other businesses to give us their support, as well as motivating local people to donate and help raise fund for the development. We truly believe that by coming together as a community we can make this happen.”

The plans to secure the funds for the development of Underhill Park include grant applications to a variety of bodies as well as seeking sponsorship and donations from businesses and individuals. Donations can be made as a one off payments or via a monthly DD through our website and a range of fundraising initiatives are also being planned.

Any individual or business willing to support or help Go Underhill in any way is asked to get in touch by emailing us on info@go-underhill.com 

About Joe’s

Joe’s has been an ingredient of Swansea life for almost 100 years, with its ‘fresh vanilla gelato’ first being served from its St Helen’s Road ice-cream parlour in 1922. The company has had a parlour in Mumbles since 1984, making it a much-loved part of the local area for both residents and visitors. In recent years Joe’s has added outlets in Llansamlet, Cardiff and Llanelli.

The fame of Joe’s delicious ice-cream was highlighted during the recent visit to Mumbles by the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, when they stopped in at Joe’s to sample both the iconic vanilla (Kate’s favourite) and popular chocolate (William’s favourite) flavours.

Community step up to the plate for Go Underhill

Community step up to the plate for Go Underhill

There was a real buzz at the Go Underhill public information and consultation event held in All Saints Church, Mumbles on 31st January.

Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, gave a detailed update on the Underhill Park project and on how much has already been achieved which will enable the major developments planned for Stage 1 to go ahead.

The milestones already completed include MCA having secured permission from the landowner, the Duke of Beaufort, via the Somerset Trust, not only to undertake building works in Underhill Park, but also to retain and reinvest in the Park any profits generated from managing it.

Taken together with the planning permission for Stage 1, received from Swansea Council in November 2019, this means that the development can get underway once the necessary funding has been secured.

The core message from the Chair was that MCA need community members to step up to the plate to help fundraising for the development or to offer their own services as a way of off-setting the costs.

He said:

Whilst grant support is essential if we are to make Go Underhill happen, as a community we need to help ourselves too, we can’t just look to others for funding.


We are calling on everyone who wants the development to become a reality to do their bit, by donating, by helping with fundraising, by offering their services or by making introductions to others who can help us.


This is a community project which will benefit everyone who lives or has a business here, as well as visitors to Mumbles, so let’s pull together as a community and get this done.”

The ‘self-help’ message was well received by the many attendees and lots of offers of help were made on the night, as well as in the following days. These include practical support with, amongst other things, building materials, equipment and labour; construction skills; fundraising and donations.

Both Mumbles Rangers football club and Mumbles Rugby Club are also preparing their own fundraising plans, drawing in all players, members, volunteers and their friends and families.

A number of businesses have also stated their intention to support Go Underhill, with details hopefully to be finalised over the next few weeks.

Public meeting on Go Underhill development

Public meeting on Go Underhill development

Mumbles Community Association (MCA) is inviting anyone interested in the development of Underhill Park, whether they currently use the park or not, to attend a public meeting taking place at 7:00pm on Friday 31 January, at All Saints Church in Mumbles.

Following on from the announcement that planning permission has been granted, the focus of the meeting is on exploring options for getting the development started. The Trustees will also be providing an update on the project and specific details of the Phase 1 elements.

Whilst grant bids and funding applications have or are being made, MCA are inviting users of the Park, people living in the local area, and those with an interest in the activities that could take place in the Park, to come along to discuss how they can help make it happen.

Ideas on ways in which people could help include:

  • Donating money, helping to raise funds or sponsoring elements of the build
  • Giving, or facilitating access to, in kind support for materials, equipment or labour which could bring down the direct monetary cost of construction
  • Any skills or expertise which people are willing to give to help the construction, particularly in relation to site management

Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, said:

We are hoping that people from across the community who want to see the development of Underhill Park taking place will come along to the meeting and offer their help to make the Go Underhill plans happen.


We want to see some progress in 2020, so the goal for the meeting is to establish what we can do for ourselves as a community and connect with local people who can help us move things along. It’s important for us to help ourselves as well as seeking support from grant bodies.

Full details of the project can be found on our Plans & Progress pages

Mike Ruddock expresses support for Go Underhill

Mike Ruddock expresses support for Go Underhill

Former Wales Rugby Coach Mike Ruddock has expressed his support for the development of Underhill Park.

Mike, who has a home locally and, it has just been announced, is joining the Ospreys in a temporary role, said:

I’m fully behind the Go Underhill plans being driven forward by Mumbles Community Association.


Both my sons played for Mumbles RFC as youngsters and I was a volunteer coach for the club, so I know how much the upgrading of facilities at Underhill Park is needed, not just for developing grass roots talent but also for the community as a whole.


Having a properly floodlit training area will be a massive improvement while the new community café area and toilets will be valued not only by the players, but also the parents, grandparents and supporters who all help ensure we have a thriving rugby scene in Mumbles.

Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, said:

Having an endorsement for our project from someone of the stature of Mike Ruddock is brilliant news for Go Underhill.


We thank Mike for his positive words and hope it will encourage other well-known people to come forward and offer their support

You can read more about Mike’s appointment on the Ospreys website