PLANS to reduce the risk of flooding in a Monmouthshire village are moving forward, but there are fears it could take "many years" for a solution to be found.

Land in Llanellen floods regularly in periods of bad weather, often closing the A4042 and resulting in lengthy diversions for people travelling between Abergavenny and places like Cwmbran and Newport.

The area's MS has called the flooding issues there "a perennial problem" for residents, adding that this has recently become a more crucial issue, given the A4042 is the main road for the Grange University Hospital.

The National Wales: Flooding in Llanellen in February 2021. Picture: Kevin Dunlop, Abergavenny Voice, FacebookFlooding in Llanellen in February 2021. Picture: Kevin Dunlop, Abergavenny Voice, Facebook

Since the Grange opened in late 2020, any road closures in Llanellen mean ambulances travelling southwards from Abergavenny will take much longer to transport patients to what is now Gwent's only A&E department.

Peter Fox, the MS for Monmouth, said the road was "vital" to Monmouthshire, and any flood closures at Llanellen caused not only "disruption for residents" but "serious consequences" for ambulance patients.

Some drainage work has been completed in Llanellen, and the Welsh Government is conducting a transport appraisal project - called WelTAG - to look at what else can be done to prevent further flooding there.

But Mr Fox, the former leader of Monmouthshire County Council, complained that WelTAG processes "can take many years" and the issue of flooding in Llanellen "needs to be addressed pretty quickly".

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Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, noted the Welsh Government had deemed Llanellen a "recognised flood-sensitivity site" and said "the situation has improved there" since drainage work was completed.

He accepted the "open-minded" WelTAG process could be time-consuming and "that's one of the problems we've seen consistently with the way it works".

The government plans to improve this process, he added, and a project workshop for the Llanellen site was due to be held this week.

Mr Waters noted a "sobering" recent UN report on climate change and how "there is a rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to build a more climate-resilient society", including protection of infrastructure.

The government has asked an expert panel to assess how to minimise flood impact on infrastructure, and the ongoing roads review "is also looking at the role of maintenance and of infrastructure to deal with the changing climate", he added.

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