In partnership with Natural Resources Wales, the Council will begin significant work to install a new culvert inlet and reduce the risk of flooding in Pentre – as part of a wider comprehensive response following this year’s flood events.
Pentre was one of the County Borough’s hardest-hit areas during Storm Dennis in February 2020, and the village has experienced further flash flooding episodes in the months that followed. During August, the Council Leader provided an update for residents on the comprehensive response to flooding in Pentre – and the measures taken to date are summarised below.
From Monday, September 21, work will begin to install a new culvert inlet system to reduce the risk of flooding in the Pentre Road area. The scheme, which has been developed by the Council and Natural Resources Wales, consists of building a new headwall and channel structures within the watercourse, in order to reduce the risk of blockages to the culvert in the future. This will be delivered thanks to a £300,000 investment.
The scheme will also establish a formal access point to the channel, so it can be maintained more easily. The adjacent road will be resurfaced, while a secondary drainage system will be provided – acting as an overflow if debris starts to build up within the inlet during future periods of heavy rainfall.
All work will last around 12 weeks in total (weather permitting), and is funded by the Council, Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales. The workforce will adhere to the latest guidance in relation to social distancing.
Access to Pentre Road will be maintained at all times for pedestrians and motorists, but residents are asked not to park along the lane up to the culvert inlet to allow the contractor’s heavy plant and materials to access this space. There is likely to be some local disruption when large precast concrete units are delivered.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Last month I provided a progress update on the partnership response to the flooding events in Pentre throughout 2020 – confirming that the Council and Welsh Government has committed more than £600,000 for works to date, with elements of those schemes complete, underway or about to begin. Future phases of work are being developed, and could exceed £3m to £4m when delivered.
“We are fully-committed to resolving the flooding events in Pentre as one of the Council’s biggest priorities, working closely with partners Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government. A number of other flood-related schemes have already been completed in other locations across the County with further projects to be delivered over the coming weeks and months.
“Action to date has included providing a series of funding avenues for important aspects of our response – including comprehensive investigations, clearing existing culverts and removing debris, help for residents, providing support during subsequent rain events and temporary resilience measures in preparation for the coming winter season.
“While lots of activity has been ongoing, I’m pleased that the first major works on site as part of a wider comprehensive response will begin on September 21. This will install a new culvert inlet to reduce the risk of blockages – and subsequently reduce the risk of flooding within the Pentre Road area. A new works access will also ensure future maintenance of the inlet is easier.
“I’d like to thank residents in advance for their patience and cooperation, with some aspects of the upcoming work likely to cause some local disruption – particularly associated with the necessary deliveries to the site. However, pedestrian and vehicular access will be maintained throughout, and there is no dedicated road closure associated with this scheme.”
Since the flooding in Pentre during February 2020, progress made to date (in addition to the inlet scheme which is about to begin) has included:
- More than £600,000 committed by the Council and Welsh Government for works – further plans being developed could exceed £3m to £4m.
- The Council has appointed consultants, at a cost of £12,000, to carry out a Section 19 flood investigation report in partnership with NRW and Welsh Water. The report is expected back in October/November 2020.
- More than £200,000 spent to clear highway-enclosed culverts and ordinary watercourses, removing 180 tonnes of debris washed down the mountainside from the culvert head on NRW land in Storm Dennis.
- A further £50,000 spent to investigate, conduct CCTV surveys and carry out repairs to the highway drainage system in the Pentre area.
- Installation of a high-level overflow between the Council’s highway drainage system and Welsh Water’s overflow sewer, costing £11,000, giving further resilience to existing drainage networks at Lewis Street.
- Discussions between the Council, a local community group and a charitable organisation has led to the funding of flood gates for those residents who were affected by Storm Dennis in February.
- The Council has engaged consultants to look at a property-level protection scheme in Pentre. A £10,000 feasibility study due back in September or October could lead to significant additional investment.
- A total of £120,000 has been committed to taking forward designs and feasibility for a major Flood Alleviation Scheme in Pentre, in partnership with Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales.
- Temporary resilience measures being prepared for the coming winter, including a £50,000 funding bid to install two large temporary pumps manned by Council staff whenever there is adverse weather forecast.
- Consultants commissioned to develop a £30,000 Program Business Case within the Upper Rhondda Area, intended to identify short, medium and long-term options to mitigate the risk of pluvial flooding.