Link road scheme gets the go-ahead despite flood fears
A £5 MILLION link road to the west of Carmarthen has been given the go-ahead by county planners, despite concerns over flooding risks.
The new road will serve up to 1,100 new homes as part of a major development between Travellers Rest and Johnstown.
There will also be recreational space and a new school.
There are two options under consideration — that the road is built before the homes or a roof tax is placed on the new homes to build the road in stages as each developer comes on site.
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Assurances were given by the council's head of planning Eifion Bowen that the authority had as much information regarding flood risk and water drainage as was possible at this stage.
He said the Environment Agency Wales had no objection to the road and Dwr Cymru was continuing to assess the Tawelan Brook which runs down through the development land into the lower end of Johnstown.
At a meeting of the planning committee, town and county councillor Alun Lenny asked Mr Bowen for his 100 per cent assurances that the people of Johnstown had nothing to fear in terms of flood risks from the new road and surface water run-off.
He said the "devil is in the detail and we need as much detail as possible on this scheme".
Mr Bowen replied: "It is a fair question, the Environment Agency has looked at it and there are no objections, we are wholly confident that consent to the road can be given."
He added that further water drainage management studies would be carried out by each housing developer as they came on board.
However, Mr Bowen said to what extent those would change things he did not know at this stage.
Planning officer Stephen Thomas said the road and homes development were needed for the growth of the town and said the link road would alleviate current congestion.
Councillor Alan Speake said he was confused with the recommendation to approve the plans, as he claimed: "Just days before this planning meeting Dwr Cymru told me it believed it would be sensible to defer a decision on the application until more information had been obtained on water drainage.
"It is undertaking more hydraulic modelling."
He also hit out at the county planners for not including the objections of the town council over the road plan and for not walking the bank of Tawelan Brook to assess it.
"This area is prone to flooding the lower areas of Old St Clears Road and Llansteffan Road, we have to get it right before approving anything."
The council heard that water drainage would be dealt with by an existing sewer at the top of College Road, together with an area of land which will soak up run-off water and the banks of Tawelan Brook.
Councillor Terry Davies said he believed the planning committee had enough information and moved to approve the road.
Councillors voted 13 in favour and one against.