Campaigners have been given fresh hope in their bid to save more than 30 trees at a popular Cardiff park.
Natural Resources Wales will go back to the drawing board on its flood defence plans at Roath Brook after the Welsh Government pulled its funding for the scheme.
The work would have involved widening Roath Brook, removing 38 trees and replanting 41 new ones.
NRW says work is still needed at Roath Brook to protect 70 homes in Penylan from flooding, but will now consider other flood defence options – which may see the trees saved.
Campaigners say there is now a greater chance that the trees – which are up to 80 years old – could be protected.
Sarah Jones, one of the campaigners, said: “It’s really good NRW are listening to the community. It’s something that organisations should follow suit on when communities have issues and concerns.
“The trees play a huge part of the urban environment. We think there are other ways NRW could achieve the protection they want without taking down the trees.
“We have to make sure that we don’t destroy our environment for the next generation.
“We have no guarantee that they will go for a different option. But I believe NRW are committed to looking at all the options out there.
“I’m very glad we have such a wonderful community where everybody has come together to make a difference.”
NRW paused the tree felling and work in Roath Brook Gardens and Roath Mill Gardens in December 2017 to consider evidence from an independent consultant appointed by the campaigners.
The work was phase three of a wider project to improve flood defences in the area – but it is now set to be considered as a separate project.
NRW says more than 300 homes and businesses have been given greater protection from flooding due to the first two phases of the work – which have now been completed.
The first phase involved refurbishing the existing flood embankment on the River Rhymney, off Newport Road, and a new flood wall was built.
In the second phase, new flood walls and embankments were built in Roath Mill Gardens, Waterloo Gardens and Railway Gardens, along with the replacement of Waterloo Road bridge.
Councillor Joe Boyle, who represents Penylan and is leader of the Liberal Democrats on Cardiff council, said the news will “generate mixed feelings” in the area.
He said: “It will certainly be celebrated by many residents, including those from the campaign group who did not feel the proposals were proportionate, but we know that others will be concerned at the implication for their properties.
“We understand that those residents who wanted the scheme to proceed, because they fear flooding whenever spring tides or Atlantic weather fronts threaten, may well feel a degree of alarm.”
“We need to be aware of NRW’s warnings about the threat of flooding in this area and we are not relaxed about the growing threat posed by man-made climate change. Devastating flooding occurs in the UK more regularly than ever before, often affecting areas that have never flooded before.
“We therefore urge all parties to refocus over the coming months and years on how this densely populated part of Cardiff can be kept safe from rising sea levels and increased rainfall. NRW must therefore continue to engage with the community to seek a solution that can hopefully command a greater degree of acceptance.”
The original plans would have seen a total of 149 trees removed across the four gardens, while 120 trees would be replanted and 200 saplings planted in Roath recreational ground.
Before the work started the trees in the area covered by the work were worth £7.5m, but phase one and two has caused them to drop £1.25m in value due to the number of trees being felled, according to an independent report commissioned by the campaigners.
The report says a further £500,000 would have been lost from the value of the trees if phase three went ahead.
A proposal to reassess the final phase of the Roath Brook Flood Scheme as a separate project, which would mean a new business case would have to be submitted to the Welsh Government, was approved by NRW’s board on Thursday, January 24.
Tim England, operations manager for NRW, said: “Flooding can devastate people’s lives and the Welsh Government has given us responsibility to better protect at-risk communities across Wales.
“We’re asking our board to endorse a decision to reassess the final phase of the scheme as a stand-alone project based on advice from the Welsh Government, views provided by the campaign group from an independent consultant and no overwhelming support from the affected community.
“We remain confident in our assessment of the flood risk in the area, but we are also committed to working with the community to reassess the options with a view to reapplying for Welsh Government funding at a later date.
“Decisions supporting our original proposal were not made lightly. We’ve spoken directly to the people at risk and they have mixed views about whether the work should continue.”
Mr England added: “We’ve worked closely with the campaign group throughout the review so far and listened to their concerns, and we propose to continue with this approach.
“Re-evaluating this part of the scheme after the work downstream was completed is something they called for.
“Engaging with communities is an important part of designing and delivering a flood scheme and local people will be integral to finding a suitable solution to the flood risk.”
- Parents of five-year-old boy with leukaemia reveal he is cancer-free after fundraising £500,000 for life-saving treatment in Singapore
- 'We can't bear the thought of him alone down there': Heartbroken family of Emiliano Sala's pilot launch GoFundMe page for new search after Cardiff City star's body is pulled from wreck
- Can A Democrat Still Win With “Hope And Change”?
- Carol Vorderman, Kelly Brook and Scarlett Moffatt lead the famous faces set to compete in The Great British Bake Off's celebrity spin-off in 2020
- The miracle of Kolkata's wetlands – and one man's struggle to save them
- Britain, France and Germany trigger Iran nuclear deal 'dispute mechanism' paving the way for fresh sanctions as Boris Johnson calls for a new 'Trump deal'
- Inside ‘Pod Save America’s’ Big Move to HBO for the Midterms
- 'Heir-to-Corbyn' Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey gets a free run after her friend and flatmate Angela Rayner 'agrees to stand-aside and run for deputy'
- The doomsday vault: the seeds that could save a post-apocalyptic world
- Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer enter race to replace Jeremy Corbyn: Arch-Remainers launch savage assault on leader's 'disastrous' election campaign - that THEY helped run
- Amid Iran and impeachment, Trump’s focus is reelection
- Premier League fans assess the run-in. Part 1: Arsenal to Huddersfield
- Srishti Bakshi left her job in Hong Kong to walk 3,800 km
- INDYCAR Decade in Review: Best characters
- Proof the hard Left is STILL pulling Labour's strings: How the same union barons and Marxist heavies who anointed Jeremy Corbyn have put Rebecca Long-Bailey within a whisker of the Labour crown – by brutally crushing all rivals in her path
- Murdered Jack Merritt's devastated girlfriend is comforted by his parents as they arrive at vigil to honour the 25-year-old and his fellow Cambridge student Saskia Jones, 23, after father attacks Boris for playing politics
- Dems go on offense in House contests
- ‘Come On Down to the Rio Grande Valley. I’ll Show You Around.’
- Tropical trip: President Trump slams Democrats for attending Puerto Rico retreat during government shutdown
- 2019 Sundance lineup includes films from Shia LaBeouf, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Campaigners given fresh hope in bid to save Roath Brook trees in Cardiff have 1245 words, post on www.walesonline.co.uk at January 28, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.