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Milford Haven: Port denies responsibility for flooded homes

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THE PORT OF MILFORD HAVEN has hit back at claims from the flooded residents of Lower Priory and Havens Head that a blocked culvert was to blame.

Several people have come forward to say that something must be wrong with the drainage under the Havens Head Business Park, owned by the Port, for the flooding to have got so deep, and so quickly.

One of those people is Colin Laugharne from Milford Haven – a former employee of Milford Haven Docks Company until 15 years ago – he told The Herald that he used to be involved with maintaining the culvert over several years.

Mr Laugharne is certain that a blockage caused the flooding and that the Port was to blame. He said: “Millions of pounds worth of damage have probably been caused by this flooding. If you go to the dock wall you can see that the water is just dribbling out. How can that be the case if it is working properly. If you look at the road in front of the library you will see water coming up and out of the drains, rather than going in. That is because the water can get as far as that point and then it has no other place to go.

“The blockage is therefore between the library and The Docks itself.”

He added: “We used to constantly keep that clear when I was working there, and we also used to even grease the drain door so it would open and close easily. I doubt that has been done since I was there.”

Mr Laugharne said: “I used to live in Havens Head – then I sold the house to my son. He was due to complete a sale of the property today but it has been cancelled due to the flooding – all because of a lack of  maintenance to the culvert. Its got to be kept clear at all times.”

The impact on families and businesses is serious. Glenda German, the landlady of The Priory spent an emotional ten minutes on the telephone with our reporter. She is staying with friends after the water level at the pub was threatening to rise to the first floor last night (Nov 8) where she lives with her pet dog, Bertie.

The Priory Inn, Lower Priory, Milford Haven on November 9 (Pic: Herald)

She told The Herald: “I do not think that I have been treated well. I have not seen anybody. I was rescued by  Michael (Barrett) and Swanny (Nigel Swann) in a yellow inflatable dinghy.

With obvious emotion in her voice she said: “My life has been turned upside down and inside out – I am gutted – Its my home, my whole life.”

Glenda explained that before the Havens Head development was constructed there was never any real problems with flooding at the pub.

But the Port said that water continues to flow freely through the culverts.

A press officer told The Herald on the telephone today that the claim of a blockage was completely false.

A statement from the Interim Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven quickly followed.

Andy Jones said: “Firstly, our thoughts are with our neighbouring residents and businesses today as they deal with the devastating effects of significant flooding following the sustained bouts of extraordinary rainfall coupled with high tides. 

“Since yesterday, our staff have been working collaboratively with multiple agencies, including the emergency services, to do everything possible to minimise the flooding impact.

“Our staff have been onsite throughout and we can confirm that the water continues to flow freely through the culverts which carry water from Hubberston and Goose Pills into Milford Docks. This is a system which we monitor and maintain on a regular basis.  

“With regards to water levels in the dock itself, we are rapidly sluicing water out as soon as the tide allows.  Additionally, the emergency services have installed pumps to take water directly from flooded areas into the dock.  

“It is important to note that lock gates are not able to resist the force of the incoming tide. We have no choice but to let the water flow into the dock as the tide comes in and close the lock gates at high tide.

“We will continue to work in collaboration with the emergency services as the situation develops. Further weather and flooding updates can be found on Pembrokeshire County Council’s website and social media channels.”

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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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News

Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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