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River bursts its banks at site of new £50million school and leisure development


Torrential rain has been causing problems across Wales including RCT where flooding has caused disruption to train services and on some roads. Aberdare has been particularly badly hit with roads closed and the Michael Sobell sports centre shut after the river burst its banks.
The centre is due to be redeveloped as part of the new leisure and secondary school complex. The development has already fallen behind schedule causing concern for pupils and parents. There will now be further unease over the risk of flooding on the site.
The development is classed as a C2 flood risk area as defined in Government guidance. This is used to indicate that only less vulnerable development should be considered subject to an 'application of justification test' which including acceptability of consequences. Emergency services and highly vulnerable development should not be considered.
Highly vulnerable development is defined as: all residential premises (including hotels and caravan parks), public buildings (e.g. schools, libraries, leisure centres), especially vulnerable industrial development (e.g. power stations, chemical plants, incinerators), and waste disposal sites.
It describes development where the ability of occupants to decide on whether they wish to accept the risks to life and property associated with flooding, or be able to manage the consequences of such a risk, is limited.
The report which went to RCT planning committee stated:
"Although the proposals are a 'notification development' since it is for "highly vulnerable" development (as defined in TAN 15) in a C2 flood risk zone, a Flood Consequences Assessment (FCA) has been prepared in discussion with the Environment Agency. In respect of its compliance with the LDP it is considered that the consequences of flooding are acceptable."
The Environment Agency examined the Flood Consequences Assessment prepared by Capita Symonds for the Council and concluded that:
"Flooding of the all-weather pitch, playing fields and part of the southern car park is expected to occur for the 1 in 5 year flood event."
"During a 1 in 20 year flood event the modelled flood extent includes the athletics track and starts to encroach further into the southern car park and MUGAs."
"Flooding of the main development site and outdoor facilities is not expected until a 1 in 1000 tear extreme flood event."
So the risk of the school flooding is considered to be relatively low, but that is not the case for other sections of the overall development. It is also the case that the development itself could add to the risk.
People of Aberdare will be hoping that weather such as we are currently experiencing will be an infrequent occurance.

The development is classed as a C2 flood risk area as defined in Government guidance.


The report which went to RCT planning committee stated:


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