LANDOWNERS near a planned flood defence scheme in Newport have refuted claims that the project has had to be redesigned after they refused to allow it to be built on their land.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) was granted planning permission for the defence wall stretching along the River Usk from Newport Castle to Brynglas in 2015. But the organisation submitted a revised version of the scheme, avoiding a piece of land along the northern bank of Crindau Pill, claiming landowners in the Adelaide Street area had refused to allow it to be built on their land.

But Philip James, speaking on behalf of businesses in the area, said this was not the case, and accused the organisation of leaving companies "in limbo" by not keeping them up to date about changes to the plan.

"The landowners have always accepted that NRW will require access to their land, and even to purchase a part of or the whole of their land, to carry out the flood defence work," he said.

"We have been in communication with NRW for around three years now, possibly longer, with respect to their requirements, and NRW have changed these requirements many times during this period."

Mr James added some businesses had been forced to wind down operations and make staff redundant under the belief they would have to relocate while the work is carried out, leading to "endless delays and uncertainty".

"Every time we seem to have come to some sort of negotiating position with them, or even reached the outline of a workable agreement with them that suits all parties, they simply move the goal posts," he said.

He added: "The landowners have not refused anything to NRW.

"In truth, we have always offered to co-operate with their wishes, and yet we still do not know what they want or intend to do because they always seem to be saying one thing and doing another."

NRW project manager Melissa Mahavar-Snow said: “Flooding can have devastating impacts, and our scheme at Crindau will increase the level of protection for 660 homes and businesses against coastal flooding.

"After receiving feedback from local landowners about our plans, we made some changes to the design of the scheme which include altering the alignment to help with their business operations.

"We plan to meet again with the landowners in the near future as we progress with the scheme."

The revised scheme, which is the same as the previously-approved plan but avoids the privately-owned section of land and includes some new engineering work on the river bank to allow the wall to be built in the area, was given planning permission last week.

It is predicted the scheme will cut flood risk to 660 homes.

To view the application visit and search for 17/0953.