Flood-risk objections to Ebbw Vale race track plans

South Wales Argus: Flood-risk objections to Ebbw Vale race track plans Flood-risk objections to Ebbw Vale race track plans

GWENT Wildlife Trust has issued a strong objection to plans by the Heads of the Valley Development Company to clear common land in preparation for the Circuit of Wales motor racing development.

They say the plans to install drains, roads, buildings and fencing would take place before permission has been granted to de-register over 340 hectares of common land near Ebbw Vale and identify suitable land in exchange.

The company behind the Circuit of Wales says if that does not go ahead it can remove the works and restore the common, but the trust say it will be impossible to restore the common to its current state and it will be ‘irrevocably damaged’.

A Gwent Wildlife Trust spokesman said: “The rich habitats present on the common that include mosaics of blanket bog, heathland and wet flushes will rapidly deteriorate as the site dries out with the de-watering of the peat on site causing dramatic shrinkage.”

Gwent Wildlife Trust say they are worried the proposed works could result in erosion and create an environment where flash flooding could occur. They say more than 700,000 cubic metres of peat is estimated to be removed for the Circuit of Wales development, amounting to filling the Millennium Stadium up to the halfway line from pitch to roof.

Gemma Bodé, conservation manager of Gwent Wildlife Trust, says “We shouldn’t underestimate the ecosystem services these upland areas provide especially in relation to the amount of water they hold when managed well.”

The trust said until the common land is de-registered and suitable land is identified in exchange under Section 16 of the Commons Act 2006, it will object strongly to the new application for clearance and drainage of the proposed development site.

A Trust spokesman added: “There is a real risk of dramatic and permanent destruction of important upland habitats, in an atmosphere of great uncertainty over whether the Circuit of Wales development will ultimately go-ahead.”

Comments (3)

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3:50pm Thu 13 Feb 14

BobMJeffries says...

Don't these people have anything better to do? If it were up to them we would still be living in holes in the ground. They seem to object to any and everything as a matter of principle, yet they are just a vocal minority of bored nobodies trying to enforce their views on the silent majority, sad, sad people😢😢
Don't these people have anything better to do? If it were up to them we would still be living in holes in the ground. They seem to object to any and everything as a matter of principle, yet they are just a vocal minority of bored nobodies trying to enforce their views on the silent majority, sad, sad people😢😢 BobMJeffries
  • Score: 6

6:03pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Really? Really? says...

Bob - what a small minded comment. Hundreds, if not thousands of applications are made a year and organisations such as these objection to only a handful. They usually try to make development better for people and wildlife. For example, this development will of course increase the risk of flooding - removing vegetation (that soaks up water) and putting down concrete/tarmac - increases flooding - even school children know that.

If it were up to you - there would be not trees, birds and wildlife just grey concrete and loads of depressed people (I can make sweeping comments too).
Bob - what a small minded comment. Hundreds, if not thousands of applications are made a year and organisations such as these objection to only a handful. They usually try to make development better for people and wildlife. For example, this development will of course increase the risk of flooding - removing vegetation (that soaks up water) and putting down concrete/tarmac - increases flooding - even school children know that. If it were up to you - there would be not trees, birds and wildlife just grey concrete and loads of depressed people (I can make sweeping comments too). Really? Really?
  • Score: -4

7:33pm Thu 13 Feb 14

IJames says...

How can someone hiding under the name 'Really? Really?' be expected to be taken seriously? Really?
I think 'Really?', for short, would acknowledge it's more depressing to have no job and no future?
In an ideal world we'd have competitive sport generating millions for the local economy with zero impact to the environment. There are plenty of controls within the planning systems to minimize impact but over zealous objections for political gain risk the opportunity of a generation.
I'm still a GWT member and have been for years, but really they are pushing my understanding to the extreme.
How can someone hiding under the name 'Really? Really?' be expected to be taken seriously? Really? I think 'Really?', for short, would acknowledge it's more depressing to have no job and no future? In an ideal world we'd have competitive sport generating millions for the local economy with zero impact to the environment. There are plenty of controls within the planning systems to minimize impact but over zealous objections for political gain risk the opportunity of a generation. I'm still a GWT member and have been for years, but really they are pushing my understanding to the extreme. IJames
  • Score: 1

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