AN INVESTIGATION has found Caerphilly council ‘missed opportunities’ to enforce planning rules which allegedly left a resident’s home at risk of flooding.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales received a complaint claiming the authority had failed to discharge conditions relating to a housing development in the county borough.

After the complaint was partly upheld, the council’s standards committee was asked if the matter was a ‘serious failure in service delivery’.

But the case was not forwarded for further scrutiny, a decision taken privately after members excluded the press and public from the meeting on February 12.

South Wales Argus: Caerphilly council's offices at Penallta House, Ystrad MynachCaerphilly council's offices at Penallta House, Ystrad Mynach

Mr. A - the name given to the complainant - said his property was subjected to the risk of contamination and flood water, and that the council had failed to respond to his complaints.

A report issued by the Ombudsman last December says: “The investigation found that there had been missed opportunities to ensure that the planning conditions had been met or consider taking enforcement action.

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“The investigation also found that the council had failed to fully respond to Mr. A.’s complaint.”

Caerphilly council has since apologised to the complainant after its planning department accepted the report’s findings.

Officers met with Welsh Water on February 6 to draw up a plan for drainage problems on the development site.

The Ombudsman has asked the council to inform Mr. A if it is not possible to address the issues.

Samples of the water stream have been taken by the council’s environmental health department, with a report saying the results are currently outstanding.

Tim Stephens, the council’s development control manager, was invited to give the standards committee an update on the proceedings.

But members opted to exclude the press from discussions involving a report which the committee felt would reveal the complainant’s identity, outweighing the public interest of its contents.

Earlier in the meeting Robert Tranter, head of legal services, asked the committee to consider if the matter should be referred to an appropriate scrutiny committee.

“The grounds for referral are where in the opinion of the standards committee there has been a serious failure in service delivery that would benefit from further consideration,” he said.

Speaking after the meeting, a council spokeswoman confirmed the committee decided that the matter did not require referral to a scrutiny committee.