THE National Assembly is to investigate claims by Newport council that a controversial flood risk assessment which threatens the multi-million-pound regeneration of the city centre is inaccurate.

As the Argus revealed on November 17, the damaging draft report published by the Assembly states that Commercial Street, the Kingsway, and much of the city centre's west bank is at "high risk" of flooding, jeopardising ambitious redevelopment plans.

Following the report, the Environment Agency raised objections to large parts of Newport Unlimited's masterplan, which suggests a way forward for the development of the city over the next 15 years. But at a meeting, council leader Sir Harry Jones attacked the report, which he criticised as "inaccurate".

And Councillor Jones followed it with an outburst against the Argus for publishing details of the report, telling council members: "I am sorry I cannot take responsibility for what we read in the Argus."

Last week we revealed details of the Assembly draft report and initial concerns that were raised by the council over its accuracy.

At yesterday's full council meeting, Councillor Jones said he had written to the Assembly expressing his concerns over the report amid claims they were based on inaccurate Flood Policy Guidance Maps.

"We believe the detail is inaccurate. I have written to the Assembly about these."

He added: "A horrifying situation has been created which is incorrect." An Assembly spokeswoman said: "Anomalies have been raised by Newport council with the Assembly and they will be investigated before a final version is published."

Minutes from a cabinet meeting to discuss the plans, approved by the council yesterday, suggest any regeneration of riverfront sites would provide an opportunity to enhance existing flood defences.