Flooding in 2023 – WG & NRW Still NO ACTION

Who are WG and NRW – they are the organisations responsible for the failure of implementing their own Flood Policies and their failure to listen to the general public’s local knowledge on historical flooding.

Rossett flooding from Storm Babet on 22nd Oct 2023

River Alyn at Harwoods Lane Rossett – View towards Trevalyn Hamlet and Almere 22/10/23

The Welsh Government and Network Resources Wales’ years of intransigence on flooding issues is appalling. This is undoubtedly going to cause the building of new houses on land that is known to flood which in turn will cause run-off and flooding to properties that have no previous history of flooding.

In Rossett – The  long term aim for the new 132 houses at Trevalyn Place has always been to discharge surface water from both phases into the ditch in the grounds of Darland School. This may also reproduce flooding in the Darland and Lavister areas where serious flood risks were recently curbed after many years of flooding.  Infiltration testing carried out as long ago in 2015 on the ground conditions here proved largely unsuitable for individual soakaways, this was due to underlying clay soils and a high water table.

It is all very well for the Climate Change Minister to stand up in the Senedd regarding the increased flood risks and say how many homes in North Wales were flooded by Storm Babet on the 20th October 2023 but the Minister is the root cause for the increasing concerns here in Wrexham. (See Ministers statement on Wrexham.com article of 21st Nov 2023)

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has claimed time and again that building will not be allowed on flood plains. Here in Rossett the Climate Change Minister endorsed the building of 132 houses in Rossett on what the residents have always known as a flood plain! The site has been designated by NRW under policy TAN15(2021) as a zone 2 undefended site that like others with outline planning consent will flood

The Climate Change Minister (Julie James) has continually delayed the implementation of the revised TAN15 until sometime in 2024 and continues to make speeches about the increasing flood risks in Wales so her Government is still responsible for sanctioning building on flood plains in the absence of a total ban on such building.

NRW have admitted that they got things wrong, residents are particularly annoyed that we have been telling NRW where their evidence is lacking and that their modelling is wrong. Even the claims from NRW that the River Alyn was the highest on record is misleading.  What NRW did not divulge is that their gauge was not commissioned until 2010 and that for years they had decried local records on previous river level heights. With the consequence that their flood modelling is seriously in error.

Local records show that in 1976 and 2000 the River Alyn at the Chester Road Bridge was even higher. It was not until June 2022 at a meeting facilitated by Sarah Atherton did NRW finally concede that their records and flood modelling needed to be revisited. 

This review by NRW was supposed to be completed by the end of October 2022, we still have not seen a revised Rossett Flood Risk Study.

On the 9th Nov 2023 village residents had a meeting with NRW Officers regarding the flooding to parts of Rossett and the whole area of Almere subsequent to Storm Babet and their excuse was that as the River Dee was not in serious flood at Plas Devon so defences were not put in place to protect Almere. NRW did not appreciate that Almere is flooded by the River Alyn and have no alternative warning system in place to protect Almere & Trevalyn Meadows. 

When whole families and properties are badly flooded out i‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌​​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​t is no wonder that NRW need to carry out a thorough review of their systems and activities. At present the protection being offered in the Wrexham areas of Burton, Rossett and Almere by NRW is at best suspect at worst bordering on grossly negligent.

It is high time that the Minister stop lamenting the problems and started to take action by enforcing TAN 15(2021) on limiting flood risks and by banning all those developments on flood plains that have planning consent, and not started. be immediately revoked to limit further flood risks and associated property damage.

Rossett has a long-standing history of flooding, records going back to the early 1800’s confirm this. Serious flooding to the area can be shown to have occurred in approximately 25 year cycles. See some of our previous articles on the subject together with photographic and video evidence.