Why Are We Campaigning?
This is what we have now...
© Terry Brooks
We Dont Want a dam like This...
NRW claims that "the dam will mitigate the effects of a 1 in 100 year flood event"
We challenge this proposal on a number of grounds:
The dam will destroy irreplaceable Ancient Woodland near Cwm George and Casehill Woods, the most popular Woodland Trust site in Wales (over 50,000+ visits pa).
Welsh Government planning policy recognises Ancient Woodland as ‘irreplaceable habitats of high biodiversity value which should be protected from development that would result in significant damage’.
The ecosystem of the surrounding floodplain area will be wrecked – trees and flora will die off.
Ancient trees are unable to readily adapt to new things like flood water and will eventually die. Water logged soils act like compacted soils and as such damage our ancient and veteran trees.
There are veteran oaks which are registered on The Ancient Tree Inventory which are at risk upstream of the proposed dam .
Ancient and veteran trees take between 400 to 500 years to develop their associated complex ecological communities – they can’t be replicated once lost!
Precious habitat for wildlife, birds, mammals and invertebrates will be destroyed and many creatures eg dormice and insects will relocate, further weakening the ecosystem.
The culverting of the river will undermine the biodiversity of the watercourse, reducing its appeal to fish species, kingfishers and herons.
There are critical omissions, inconsistencies and inaccuracies in NRW site reports, including the size of the dam, the cost estimates, the Tree Survey data and the Dormouse Survey data .
NRW cost estimates vary widely and maybe up to £7 million (making this the most expensive flood mitigation project in Wales per residential property protected).
The 2015 feasibility report commissioned by NRW identified 10 options for flood mitigation. An alternative option to the dam scored a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 200. The dam option was given a nominal BCR of only 5, yet in 2017 NRW stated that this was their preferred option.
NRW has rejected other flood mitigation options without offering plausible and reasoned justification.
Despite many assurances from NRW, there has been no public consultation since late 2017. There has been a notable lack of transparency in the decision making process.
The proposal does not appear to be consistent with the aims of The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, The Environment Act and the Woodlands for Wales Strategy, Welsh Government planning policy.
Construction of the dam will take up to 2 years, denying access to highly valued public amenity and causing widespread disruption and pollution.
After heavy rain, the flood plain behind the dam may be inaccessible for up to 3 weeks, approx. This may happen 3 or 4 times a year.