THE group behind the Circuit of Wales has strongly refuted comments made by Gwent Wildlife Trust who said recent flooding had raised further concerns about the £280 development.

The Trust said the upland heathland and bog where the Circuit of Wales development is proposed holds “billions of litres of water, with peat retaining up to 20 times its weight in moisture”. It said the peat soils act like a sponge, preventing the rain from pouring down the valleys all at once.

It said proposals to start digging ditches and drains on the 830-acre Rassau site near Ebbw Vale has the potential to result in flash floods, as seen during recent weeks across Gwent.

But a spokesman for Heads of the Valleys Development Company (HVDC) said: “Gwent Wildlife Trust has again made alarmist and inaccurate claims in regards to the Circuit of Wales development.

“The HVDC absolutely refutes the points it has raised regarding the threat of flash flooding at the site.“Prior to the commencement of work on the development, the HVDC will agree with the council the management of all watercourses and water channels arising or crossing the development site. Collectively these strategies will prevent an unacceptable impact on the site’s hydrology and ensure that the acceptable water run-off rates are maintained.

“HVDC also refutes the claims regarding the quality and volume of peat on site. Having spent two years carrying out environmental surveys and extensive soil sampling, we have a clear understanding of the organic material. The scale, age, composition and water retention properties of the material on site are entirely inconsistent with the claims by Gwent Wildlife Trust.”

The proposed development would represent the biggest investment in the UK motor sector in more than 50 years.

Bosses hope thousands of jobs will be created.

The spokesman added: “Throughout the planning process we’ve been committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure we address, as much as possible, the specific concerns they have.

“We are disappointed that Gwent Wildlife Trust continues to make unsubstantiated allegations about the impact of the development, and would like to reiterate our invitation to them to meet with us to understand more about our plans and become much more informed, rather than continue with this misleading and sensationalist line of communication.”