FLOOD defences in Ammanford are being improved by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) over the coming year.

NRW has been carrying out a number of measures to combat the flood risk in the Ammanford area – which has had a number of floods in the last 40 years - but the risk is predicted to rise significantly in the future due to climate change.

NRW said the cause of flooding in Ammanford is complex, with flood water spilling into the town at several locations.

If nothing was done to reduce the flood risk, 223 properties would remain at risk of flooding in an extreme flood event and road and rail infrastructure will be affected, but this would increase to 386 properties over the next century.

In 2021, Carmarthenshire County Council granted planning permission for Ammanford’s  flood risk management scheme. Work began in March this year and is due to be completed by the summer of 2024, with the aim being to reduce the risk of flooding to the town from the Rivers Loughor, Lash and Marlas, as well as providing enhancements that benefit the natural environment and the wellbeing of the community.

The Welsh Government funded scheme is set to cost £4.1m and comprises of:

  • Flood walls in the areas around Shands Road, Coleg Sir Gâr, Cwmllwchwr Mill, Gwyn Fryn Estate and Ffordd yr Afon in Bonllwyn, between 0.5m and 1.5m high. The Shands Road industrial units will have property level protection measures.
  • Trees will be planted behind the industrial units at Shands Road, near to Coleg Sir Gâr and Gwyn Fryn Estate will have community benches, garden hedges and landscape improvements.
  • Improvements will be made to the weir in the river channel at Cwmllwchwr Mill, allowing fish to pass over it. There will also be habitat enhancements for a range of species.
  • A large earth embankment (130m long and 2.5m high) called a bund will be constructed at Tir y Dail Field between Shands Road and the railway line to stop a flow of flood water. There will also be one at the top of Parc Henry Lane behind the new housing development.
  • 13 houses on Aberlash Road will have property level protection measures fitted such as flood doors, demountable barriers and similar products to form a temporary barrier to floodwaters.

NRW recently released its flood risk management plan that sets out the priorities for managing flood risks in Wales over the next six years as around 245,118 properties in Wales (around one in eight) are currently at risk of flooding from rivers, the sea and surface water, which would include a further 46,000 more properties becoming at risk over the next century. The full plan can be viewed at https://naturalresources.wales/evidence-and-data/research-and-reports/flooding-reports-evidence-and-data/flood-risk-management-plans/?lang=en.