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Council faces £3 million bill to build defences to protect eroding river banks

24 Feb 2024 2 minute read
The Nant Cylla in Ystrad Mynach. Photo CCBC

A local authority is facing a bill of nearly £3 million to build “long-term” defences to protect eroding river banks.

The Nant Cylla watercourse flows “rapidly” through Ystrad Mynach, causing scouring and erosion to the banks. A series of “temporary measures” have failed to prevent further wear and tear, and Caerphilly Council is now faced with a hefty bill to restore the banks and protect them for the next 100 years.

The council has the legal obligation to maintain some stretches of the banks, while others are under private control.

Nigel George, the cabinet member for corporate services, told colleagues at a meeting on Wednesday 21 February that the river could be protected by reducing the rate of water flow and “lessen the likelihood of and impact of scour”.


Scouring refers to the removal of sediment from around a structure, which can weaken and pose risks to river banks and bridges.

The council is likely to work with landowners along the affected stretch of the Nant Cylla, noting that a “single scheme that addresses the entire stretch of the watercourse would result in better and more sustainable outcomes”.

Nant Cylla in Ystrad Mynach. Photo CCBC 02

Failing to provide the same level of protection along the whole stretch could mean current problems will be “exacerbated”, Mark Goodger, a council principal engineer, told the meeting.

But some outbuildings along the banks could be demolished if they were built without planning permission, because they may be “further weakening the banks” and are “liable to collapse”.

The money for the project will come from uncommitted capital earmarked reserves.

Flood risk management strategy

Meanwhile, Caerphilly Council is consulting the public on plans for a new flood risk management strategy for the county borough.

Hefin David, the Senedd member for Caerphilly, has urged residents to have their say.

He said: “If any residents have any comments or feedback in relation to the draft strategy, I would encourage them to have their say by submitting comments to the consultation. This has been a big issue locally for some time, so I would expect there to be many people wanting to get involved.”

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Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

A problem most urban areas in Wales have, streams put in a straight jacket of a culvert, surrounded by housing and buildings with no where for the water to go when it floods. Push it quicker downstream and it causes more problems or slow it down coming off the common. Either way it is expensive.

1 month ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

Have remarked the same many times. The Taff near me is bottlenecked through Merthyr, and weirs in Ponty.So many palces it could flood have fake banks put in, for even less room for excess water in floods. Natural errosion exists, we need to work with the water, not fight it.

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