St Asaph long term flood plans unveiled

Long-term plans to reduce flood risk for people in St Asaph are to be unveiled at a public drop-in session in the city.

The proposals, drawn up by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), will see the city’s flood defences enhanced, but will also involve a number of innovative projects upstream to manage flood risk naturally.

Measures such as tree planting, de-compacting soil and managing land drainage can help to hold some of the floodwater back and make the area more resilient to climate change in the future.

NRW is assessing the catchments of both the River Elwy and River Clwyd to find suitable options and is working with the Welsh Government, landowners, local authorities and Farming Unions to get these projects underway.

As well as reducing flood risk, it is hoped that the work will provide wider benefits to nearby communities and the local environment.

People can see the proposals for NRW’s preferred option for a scheme, and give feedback on Wednesday 10 December at the Oriel Hotel in St Asaph between 2pm and 7pm.  

Tim Jones, Executive Director of Operations for North and Mid Wales for NRW said:

“We’d like to thank the people of St Asaph for their support and patience while we’ve conducted detailed investigations to find effective long-term measures to reduce the risk of flooding for the area.

“This month marks the second anniversary of the devastating flooding.  Since then, we’ve been working hard to provide short-term improvements locally and to support the community by helping them be more prepared for flooding in the future.

“We’ve also been working closely with the emergency services and Denbighshire County Council to improve our response to flooding – which we tested at a recent multi-agency exercise.

“We believe that these plans – drawn up after detailed studies of the whole catchment - will provide effective, long-term, peace of mind for people in St Asaph.

“Although the type of flooding we saw in 2012 is rare, we know that as our climate changes we are likely to see more intense heavy rainfall in the future, and more flooding.  

“We can’t always prevent flooding from happening, but in St Asaph, we believe we have a good proposal to significantly reduce its likelihood of happening.”

Following the drop-in session NRW will approach the Welsh Government for funding in spring next year.

Once it has the go ahead, it will begin detailed planning and design, before starting work on the scheme in spring 2016.

In the meantime, short-term measures to reduce flood risk remain in place on the River Elwy.  

This includes raised embankments near the Spring Gardens bridge, and a new concrete foundation which allows temporary flood barriers to be installed along a 150 metre stretch of the river.

Three community flood plans are now in place for the city, with 33 voluntary flood wardens. 548 out of 599 properties are now registered to receive free flood warnings from NRW.

For more information about flood plans, or flood warnings, please visit natural resources wales alerts

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