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Council commissions report into flooding at Lower Priory and Havens Head



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is to spend £40,000 on a feasibility study investigating alleviating the risk of flooding at Lower Priory and Havens Head in Milford Haven.

The local authority has included the cost in its capital budget for consideration at Monday’s (Jan 13) Cabinet meeting.

The £40,000 cost of the feasibility study will be met through a £38,000 grant from the Welsh Government. The Council will contribute £2,000 towards the study, although the report accompanying the budget notes that funding may be secured from alternative sources.

Lower Priory and Havens Head were both subject to flooding in November 2018.

The flood at Lower Priory was catastrophic, causing damage to properties and inundating the Priory pub, causing its closure for many months.

Residents of Lower Priory pointed the finger at the massive amount of infill work on land leading from watercourses passing through the area towards Havens Head and the docks beyond. They also claimed failures of maintenance had blocked the trash screens on culverts.

Stephen Crabb MP visited flooded resident last year (Pic: Herald)

Natural Resources Wales observed at the time: ‘The area affected contains two smaller watercourses that flow through a small valley through a culvert under a road/railway and into Milford Haven marina. The bottoms of the valleys are always wet and one has also been partially impounded to form a lake, which means the area can become tide-locked during high tides.
‘That coupled with the rain meant lots of water coming down the valley and lots coming in via the tide’.

While maintenance of the two minor watercourses is the responsibility of the County Council, once the watercourses pass on to land owned by Milford Haven Port Authority, responsibility passes to it to ensure its culverts are maintained and trash screens kept clear.

The Council does not have any powers to make landowners amend existing culverts to increase their capacity.

New developments have to comply with specific planning guidance from the Welsh Government. That guidance means surface water from an impermeable area created by a development (ie at Haven Head) must be dealt with through sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) which allow water to seep out via soakaways.
That standard has applied to all new developments for several years now.

The current situation, in which a large area of land is concreted over at the end of a watercourse, would no longer be permitted.

Following the flooding in November 2018, both the Port Authority and the Council tried to blame each other for the flooding.

A large amount of work subsequently took place to clear the areas around the affected culverts, including the removal of a significant amount of fallen trees and other vegetable debris.
In June last year, the Port Authority claimed that it was not liable for the flood damage and said the major factor in the flooding was a large increase in levels of silt in the lakes at Havens Head and Lower Priory combined with high tides and unprecedentedly levels of rainfall.

Emotional moment: Ian Bannister from Lower Priory clearly upset by the damage caused in 2019 flood (Pic: Herald)

However, under questioning before a Council Committee, a Port Authority representative conceded its electronic flood warning system had been a casualty of the flooding and had stopped recording the water volumes at Lower Priory well before the peak of the inundation.

Information about how much infill was used around the watercourses is unavailable.

A recommendation in a report by contractors Atkins, who proceeded only based on information provided by the Port Authority, recommended the culverts should be increased to handle three times the volume of water they dealt with currently.


Pembroke: Leave teenage girls alone, sex offender told



A SEX OFFENDER from Ashdale Lane, Pembroke has been jailed for repeatedly ignoring court orders which were put in place to protect young girls.
Gareth Thomas James Flynn, aged 41, frightened a 14-year-old girl who refused to get off a bus in case he managed to find out where she lived.
41-year-old Gareth Thomas James Flynn scared a 14-year-old girl because she refused to get of a bus, frightened he would learn her address.
He admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was jailed today for a year.
Sitting at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters berated the defendant.  His Honour said that Flynn had shown a complete disregard for the original SHPO.
The judge said: “Leave teenage girls alone. They are scared of you”
He told Flynn he would be on licence for 12 months after his release from prison, and he reminded him that the SHPO remained in place.

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Narberth: ‘My mum’s camper was stolen and found burned out down the road’



A CAMPER VAN stolen on Thursday night in Narberth was found burned a short distance from where it was parked, the owner’s son has said.

Zachary Bunce posted an appeal on Facebook on Friday morning saying: “Can every single one of my friends please share this my mother’s Ford transit campervan was stolen last night in the Narberth area can people please be on the lookout for this van as my mother is completely heartbroken.”

But three hours later he updated the post to say: “Thank you everyone who shared, sadly my mums van was driven 1.3 miles down the road and driven into a ditch and burnt it out.

Mr Bunce has said on that the incident has been captured on CCTV, and took place at 2.10am in the morning (Jan 24).
Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101.

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Hook: Police and school confirm death of boy, 13



POLICE are investigating the sudden death of a 13-year-old boy from Hook on Wednesday (Jan 22)

A police spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy, from the Hook area of Pembrokeshire.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time. Next of kin have been advised and are being supported.”

A letter was sent out to parents and carers by Haverfordwest High VC School headteacher Jane Harries following the death. The letter reads: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you about the sudden death of a year nine pupil at our school.

“The children in Year nine were told this morning by myself and other pupils were told by their teachers during their lesson this afternoon. The full detail surrounding the death are not known at this stage – but children have been reassured that this is something that does not happen very often. Your child may or may not want to talk bout it, but it is likely that he/she will need your special care, attention and reassurance at this difficult time.

“We are deeply affected by the death, but we are trying, for the children’s sake, to keep the school as normal as possible over the coming days, whilst allowing the children opportunities to talk about the pupil if they wish to. Trained support staff and counsellors are helping to support us through this difficult time. If you feel that your child needs extra support, please let us know.

“Our thoughts are with the pupil’s family at this difficult time, and the whole school community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s achievement leader, or Miss Thomas, pastoral support manager. Paul Lucas, chairman of the governing body at Haverfordwest High VC School, said: “The governors are shocked at the tragic loss of this young student. The family are in our thoughts at this very sad time.”

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