Bruton Knowles makes waves in key Welsh flood defence schemes

Eldon Drive 2 Copyright CCBC - resized

Leading Chartered Surveyor firm, Bruton Knowles, has played a fundamental role in enabling two significant flood defence schemes to progress.

The firm has been retained to deliver land agent support by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Conwy County Borough Council for crucial flood alleviation schemes in both South and North Wales.

NRW’s  £10m Stephenson Street Flood Scheme seeks to protect 2,000 homes and businesses in the Liswerry area of Newport from increased River Usk flood risk. Planning permission was granted last November, with work on site due to progress in the coming months.

Experts from Bruton Knowles’ National Utilities and Infrastructure Team, based out of the Cardiff office, have been conducting the necessary landowner negotiations on behalf of NRW.

The land agency works have been ongoing for two years, and land rights are or will shortly all be in place to enable the commencement of site activity.

This will come as welcome news to local Newport residents, who have been on high flood alert in recent weeks as a trail of winter storms have battered the UK.

The same team of Bruton Knowles’ experts has recently also undertaken landowner negotiations and compensation support to Conwy County Borough Council on a Flood Defence scheme in Abergele.

The firm acted on behalf of the council during the first phase of the flood alleviation scheme worth £1.1m.

Planning permission was secured in December 2020 for the Eldon Drive Flood Alleviation scheme in Abergele, and contractor Griffiths Civil Engineering recently completed work on site to put in place drainage, a new lagoon and two bridges over an existing waterway.

This area continues to be susceptible to flooding and has been identified under the Welsh Government’s £36m allocation to local authorities and Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Additional phases are planned to areas downstream of the initial phase of works.

Bill Simms Joint Head National Utilities & Infrastructure Team at Bruton Knowles

Speaking about these landmark schemes, Bill Simms, Partner at Bruton Knowles and Joint National Utilities and Infrastructure Team Head, commented: “There has never been a more significant time for infrastructure projects such as these to come to fruition.

“Wales is one of the first countries in the world to have written climate change flood risks into new planning policy for developments, showing it is at the forefront of future-proofing its infrastructure.

“NRW and Conwy County Borough Council are playing a pivotal role in driving this forward through environmental schemes which seek to reduce flood risks.

“We’re delighted to be working closely with both organisations as a core delivery partner on these much-needed schemes which will protect local communities going forward.”

A survey conducted last year highlighted only a small proportion – just 15% – of Welsh people believed climate change would impact significantly on the area in which they live.

Yet by 2050 and 2080, projections indicate that in Wales, it will become 6% and 13% more rainy in winter respectively, exacerbating current flood risks.

At present, 60% of Welsh residents live in coastal areas, and significant national infrastructure is located along the country’s coastline.

Around 12,000 properties are thought to be at high risk from coastal and river flooding, rising by 260% by the 2080s if defences are not preserved.

Bill continued: “Any project which demonstrates to local people how small changes can bring significant environmental benefits and mitigate against climate change will be instrumental in changing attitudes.

“Responsible surveying has an important part to play in this process, because it sits at the heart of sustainable and socially conscious development.

“This is something Bruton Knowles prides itself on and that our National Utilities and Infrastructure Team is fully geared up to deliver.”

Bruton Knowles offers a one-stop-shop for clients, with its four National Teams – Valuation, Commercial, Utilities & Infrastructure and Building Consultancy – providing a point of contact to deliver an entire project to the exacting standards required.

National Teams have been significant for Bruton Knowles’ business portfolio over the past year, and there are plans to launch more in due course.

Bruton Knowles has extensive expertise and in-depth market knowledge of local and national property markets throughout the UK. Utilising its team of motivated resourceful surveyors, the firm can provide the very best commercial property advice.


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