Unanswered questions over floods


A report on the recent devastating floods at Glasdir near Ruthin raises more questions than answers, according to an Assembly Member.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s Assembly Member for North Wales, said the Environment Agency report provided an excellent analysis of what went wrong to allow more than 100 homes to be flooded on the new housing estate.

The AM, who lives near Ruthin said: “The report says the flood defences ‘did not fail’. But it’s apparent that the culverts designed to take water under the new road had blocked and created a dam. Water could not escape from the estate to the wider flood plain. This comes down to maintenance and, although Denbighshire Council has admitted its responsibility, I’m concerned that we still don’t know whether this is down to cutbacks or a simple failure to carry out the work.

“There is a wider question too that goes beyond Glasdir. All too often developers are given planning permission subject to conditions. In this case it was to ensure there were adequate flood management plans in place. But these involve ongoing management and maintenance and all too often, once developers have built their homes they do not continue with their involvement in the management of the estate.

“Flood defence schemes need to ensure that there is ongoing responsibility once the initial work has been done. Otherwise we will see more Glasdirs and more heartbreak for families while the authorities pass the buck to each other.”

Mr Gruffydd added: “The report makes reference the fact that this was a 1:1000 year flood but climate change seems to be providing wetter winters here in Wales and we need to be planning our housing accordingly. We cannot build more houses on flood plains and the whole Local Development Plan needs to be reviewed in light of these recent devastating floods.”

He welcomed news that Denbighshire Council is to undertake an independent inquiry into the flooding.