Talks are to begin over how to alleviate flooding around the River Severn in Powys amid fears the average water level could rise by a metre in the coming decades.

Flooding around Welshpool and Llanymynech has cut off parts of the country during heavy rainfall in recent years, leading to work being carried out to create a strategy bringing relevant agencies from England and Wales together to deal with flooding issues.

It’s predicted that by 2050 the River Severn could be 0.85 metres higher than it was in 2020, and by 2100 it could be up to one metre higher.

Since 2019 work on the Severn Valley Water Management Scheme has been going on behind the scenes, and members of both Powys and Shropshire council are now being invited to join the project board and move the work forward.

Cabinet member for a safer Powys, Liberal Democrat, Cllr Richard Church said: “This project has implications for safety in terms of preventing flooding in the Severn catchment area and also in enhancing biodiversity.

“The proposal is that we join a project board that is being set up by the Environment Agency which is the equivalent of Natural Resources Wales in England.


“Shropshire Council have also been invited to join that board.”

Cllr Church said that work reached the point where there is a need to consult on ideas to alleviate flooding in the Severn Valley.

He added that proposals could include water management schemes which can be used to reduce flooding downstream.

Cllr Church said: “Flooding is not just a problem for us in our part of the Severn but for many more thousands of people downstream.”

He added that it could also mean “holding back” water for use during drought periods.

Cllr Church said: “This could be a great project to help tackle this problem and help meet our objectives as a greener Powys.”

County Times: Cllr ChurchCllr Church

Cabinet member for a greener Powys, Liberal Democrat Cllr Jackie Charlton seconded the proposal and said that this was a “very exciting point” in the project, as the decision being asked of Cabinet would be to “formalise” collaboration on both sides of the border.

Director of economic development and growth Diane Reynolds, explained that £10 million has been set aside by the UK Government Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to develop the strategy and start “ongoing engagement” with communities in the catchment area,

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Mrs Reynolds said: “The whole of the UK is watching this programme to see how it could be developed elsewhere.”

Education portfolio holder, Liberal Democrat Cllr Pete Roberts said that flooding where the Vyrnwy joins the Severn which is near the villages of Llanymynech, Four Crosses, Llandrinio and Crew Green creates “significant” problems at times in getting children from home to school.

He hoped that councillors representing these parts of Powys would push the benefits of taking part in the consultation process to their communities.

Cllr Roberts said: “It would bring some real benefits to people using the A483 corridor and hopefully mean Crew Green and the area are accessible from Four Crosses rather than the long way round through Ford or over the Breiddens.”

Cabinet voted unanimously to approve the report.