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Reprofiling of stream plans approved in bid to prevent flooding

14 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Brockhole Stream, Clyne Gardens, Swansea, which is to be re-engineered to prevent flooding image by Richard Youle

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

Engineers hope that increasing the capacity of a stream in one of Swansea’s most popular parks will prevent it flooding nearby properties and make it easier to maintain.

The Brockhole Stream partially runs through Clyne Gardens and emerges by The Woodman pub, Blackpill, and from there onto Swansea beach.

Subject to Welsh Government funding part of the stream is to be re-profiled with footbridges and trash screens replaced, the adjoining flood bank area realigned, and new railings installed.

Around 20 trees would need to be felled but a greater number of replacement ones, along with new shrubs and marginal plants, would be planted. Woodman Lane would be resurfaced.

Plans for the scheme, which has been years in the making, have been approved by Swansea Council. A design and access statement submitted as part of the council’s planning application said the work was needed to tackle recurring flooding.

“At the present time the continued blocking of trash screens, culverts, and bridges with low clearance causes water to overtop the banks of the channel resulting in flooding of the surrounding area,” it said.

Describing the flow of water towards Woodman Lane and Mumbles Road, it added: “If a ‘do nothing’ approach is adopted a one-in-four-year flood event would inundate low-lying properties as well as interfere with the operation of The Woodman Inn and disrupt the flow of traffic on Mumbles Road.

“A one-in-100-year flood event would result in the flooding of 15 residential properties, The Woodman and (former) Post Office. This level of flooding would render Mumbles Road impassable and vehicles would be subjected to a 12-mile diversion.”

Flooding

Clyne Gardens is a grade one-registered garden of special historic interest, and part of the work would be by Clyne Lodge – a grade two-listed building.

The design statement said the scheme would be in keeping with the site and surroundings, and that public access to the park would be retained throughout.

Groups including Friends of Clyne Gardens and the owners of The Woodman  responded to consultations on the proposals. The “friends of” group said something needed to be done because flooding was a problem.

Environment body Natural Resources Wales had concerns about the scheme but was satisfied they could be addressed with planning conditions.

Welsh Water initially objected but later withdrew it. There was a further objection from a member of the the public and two letters of support.

Stream water flows down a lane at Clyne Gardens, Swansea image by Richard Youle

Planning conditions

Council officers imposed 15 planning conditions. One of them relates to the timing of the work because Brockhole Stream empties onto a part of Swansea beach which is a site of special scientific interest due to its importance for wading and over-wintering birds.

An ecological plan must also be drawn up before work starts considering wildlife such as otters and bats.

Ward councillor Chris Evans said: “The Brockhole Stream works will hopefully alleviate some of the flooding issues for residents and hopefully we will see some soon for residents in Mill Lane too. There will be some short-term issues while the work is ongoing but hopefully it can be delivered on time and on budget so the disruption will be shortlived.”

He said he was pleased that matters he’d advocated for, such as the need for more replacement planting and the protection of otters, were part of the scheme.

The Green Party councillor added: “It’s unfortunate that these works are needed but with the ongoing climate emergency getting worse we will need more and more of these high-cost projects to protect homes and businesses right across Swansea.”


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