A £7 MILLION scheme to protect part of Newport from flooding could be in place next year, after plans were sent to the city council.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) confirmed this week that the Welsh Government had earmarked the grant to build new defences in Crindau, which suffered flooding on January 3.

Households were evacuated and businesses were partly submerged by water after the Malpas brook feeding into the River Usk burst its banks.

The scheme has reached appraisal stage and plans have been sent to Newport council. Workers could start building concrete walls and strengthen embankments in Crindau as early as next year, with the flood defences aimed at protecting 700 properties expected to be ready within nine to 12 months.

Grandmother Barbara Williams, 66, of Alderney Street, which was flooded, welcomed the news.

“It’s brilliant. Once we have these flood defences, we won’t have all this trouble to get house insurance.

“If you live in a flood area, insurers can say ‘Sorry we can’t help you’ or you pay double or triple.”

“You pay your insurance for 20 to 30 years, then you get a catastrophe like that and it’s not really our fault.”

Plastic part supplier National Plastics in Lyne Road, was also hit by the flooding.

Sales manager Gareth Roderick said yesterday: “You have got to be pleased with the allocation of money.

“Anything that can help prevent water coming into properties is a good thing.

“This is the worst we have seen. We were very lucky. Water came in but we didn’t have any real damage to products.”

The Argus reported in October that the government was to allocate £7m for flood defences in Crindau.

An NRW spokesman said: “The proposed Crindau Pill Flood Scheme aims to increase community resilience, offering flood protection to more than 700 homes and businesses.

“The scheme would extend along the banks of the River Usk and Crindau Pill between the M4 south down to the London to Cardiff railway line. The project is currently at appraisal stage and a business case is being prepared for approval.”

If approvals and consents are obtained, construction may start in 2015.

l Residents can find out more about the scheme at an exhibition at Shaftesbury Community Centre, 2pm-8pm on February 10.

l About £20,000 is expected to come out of council coffers owing to the flooding. Newport council provided evacuated residents temporary accommodation and transport and staff monitored flood alerts at key locations in the city. Newport Centre was used as an emergency base for residents and employees dealt with incidents as they occurred.