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Flooding and coastal erosion will have to be considered for any future Welsh developments

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Future developments in Wales will have to take into account future flooding and coastal erosion risk caused by climate change the Welsh Government has confirmed

In a UK first, developers will have to work with flood risk and coastal erosion maps that have been made available today that not only show current risk levels, but also the risk posed by climate change.

The new planning policy advice known as Technical Advice Note 15, or TAN 15 for short, will inform future local development plans and decisions on planning applications in areas at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. 

It will be used by the Welsh Government, local planning authorities and developers to direct development away from areas at risk of flooding and coastal erosion.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “Flood risk and coastal erosion in Wales is increasing as a result of climate change. 

“Serious flooding events are becoming more frequent and some areas currently at little risk will become vulnerable to flooding as our climate continues to change. 

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“As the National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in Wales recognises, the planning system can help communities be more resilient to the effects of climate change by locating development in areas away from risk of flooding. 

“Improved knowledge of the places which will be at risk in the future can help keep people safe, by preventing the damage and disruption to homes, workplaces and infrastructure that flooding can cause.”

Flooding in Skewen in January 2021

TAN 15 is clear that new developments of homes, the emergency services, schools and hospitals, must not be located in areas of high flood risk without strong flood defences. 

If a local planning authority is minded to approve any scheme against this advice, Welsh Ministers will be notified and able to decide the application directly.

The Flood Map for Planning identifies four types of flood zone, with each zone having particular advice in TAN 15 for proposed developments. 

The flood zones are based on current risk levels with the addition of allowances for climate change.  They therefore include areas considered likely to be at risk of flooding in the future, enabling planning decisions to take direct account of the expected impact of climate change on flood risk. 

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The Flood Map for Planning is published by Natural Resources Wales, and will be updated in May and November every year, to reflect the latest modelling and data on flood risks.

For all development in areas of low risk and areas protected by strong flood defences, and for less vulnerable developments in areas at high risk of flooding, securing planning permission will be dependent on passing the acceptability tests in TAN15. 

These tests include providing justification for the location in a flood risk area, being on brownfield land and being resilient in the event of a flood.

The new TAN 15 and Flood Map for Planning have been made available today to allow planning authorities and developers to prepare for them coming into force on Wednesday, December 1. 

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From that date, all planning applications awaiting a decision, and all new planning applications, will be assessed against the new advice and map. 

Any Local Development Plan under review and yet to reach the formal examination stage must also use the new TAN 15 and Flood Map for Planning after 1 December.

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales / Welsh Government / Crown Copyright)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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