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Plan to increase resilience to coastal fl ooding

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Still Shocking: Images from last years’ storms.

Still Shocking: Images from last years’ storms.

A DELIVERY plan to make Wales more resilient to coastal flooding was launched on Monday (Jan 5) by Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Since the devastating storms that hit communities along the coast of Wales 12 months ago the priority has been to repair and restore defences damaged in the storms. The delivery plan issued today outlines how the 47 recommendations made by NRW in April 2014, following an in-depth review into the impacts of last winter’s fl ooding, are being implemented. It details progress to-date and what more needs to be done, by all the organisations involved.

Five of the actions have already been completed with work on another 35 well under way, including: Ongoing work to evaluate improvements at locations around the coast of Wales which either experienced fl ooding or came close to fl ooding during last winter’s storms. For example, local improvements have been made for areas that fl ooded in Rhyl, with work ongoing to evaluate longer term options. The Welsh Government has launched its consultation on ‘Flood and Coastal Investment Programme’, which looks at how future investment in defences should be prioritised. Continued work developing fl ood plans for fl ood risk communities through NRW’s Flood Awareness Wales programme, including signing up a further 1,156 people to the free Floodline Warnings Direct service. A permanent offshore buoy deployed off the Pembrokeshire coast to improve fl ood forecasting. Preparatory work for a major coastal fl ooding exercise in March 2015.

Publication of the assessment of environmental change experienced during the storms. Work on the remaining seven recommendations will begin in January 2015. The storms in January 2014 caused millions of pounds worth of damage, hundreds of homes and businesses were fl ooded and even the natural environment and landscape of Wales were changed. But although the storms were devastating in many places, the existing coastal defences protected around 74,000 properties from fl ooding – avoiding an estimated £3 billion of damage. Also today – as part of the commitment in the plan to sustain investment in defences – the Welsh Government announces £1.9m towards a new flood defence for Rhyl.

The funding marks the final phase of the coastal defence scheme which, once completed, will mean a reduced flood risk to over 2,600 homes and businesses in the area. On a visit to Garford Road and West Rhyl coastal defence scheme, Carl Sargeant, the Minister for Natural Resources, said: “This term of Government will see over £245 million of Welsh Government investment in fl ood and coastal erosion risk management, supported by an additional £50 million from Europe. This demonstrates our commitment to protecting communities by managing the risks of flooding.

“I’d like to commend Natural Resources Wales, who have today published their delivery plan to take forward the recommendations contained within the Coastal Flooding Review. I am pleased to be able to announce an additional £150,000 of funding for NRW in the next financial year to assist in progressing the recommendations.

I look forward to continuing to work with them and relevant organisations across Wales to ensure that we do all that we can to mitigate against the effects of fl ooding and keep our communities safe” Jeremy Parr, Head of Flood Risk Management for NRW, told The Herald: “Although we are 12 months on from the storms which affected so many communities in Wales, people still continue to feel their impact. “And with the risk of coastal flooding likely to increase in the future due to climate change we are likely to see more extreme weather like this in the future so we all have to understand that increased risk and how we can prepare for when it happens again.

“The aim of this delivery plan is to make further improvements to the support to communities before, during and after a flood, working together with local authorities, the Welsh Government, emergency services and responders and with communities.” The delivery plan focuses on six areas: Sustained investment in coastal risk management, improved information on coastal fl ood defence systems, greater clarity of roles and responsibilities of agencies and authorities, assessment of skills and capacity, more support to communities to become more resilient, delivery of locally developed plans for coastal communities.

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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