Stephenson Street flood scheme

Closed 21 Apr 2021

Opened 22 Mar 2021

Overview

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has appointed engineering consultants Arup to develop a new flood defence scheme for Liswerry, Newport.

The strategic objective of the scheme is to reduce flood risk for the nearby communities and businesses. In 2019 we submitted a business case to secure funding for the scheme and were successful.

Arup have investigated various options in the area and have developed a proposal to provide better flood protection for the area.

In September 2020, we shared our initial proposals for the scheme and held a public consultation. 

In March 2021 we shared our updated plans and designs as part of our pre- planning public consultation.

We’re pleased to announce that on 3 November 2021, our planning application (ref 21/0718) was approved by Newport City Council

Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to access the planning documents.

Flood risk in Liswerry, Newport

Map showing properties at risk of flooding

Map showing properties at risk of flooding with and without the proposed defences

Homes and businesses in Liswerry are vulnerable to flooding from the River Usk during periods of heavy rainfall and high tides. Leisure amenities and infrastructure such as the A48, Newport International Sports Village, Newport Stadium and Dragon Park are also at risk.

There is an existing flood bund along the River Usk between Stephenson Street and Corporation Road, but this is old and no longer fit for purpose.

Many of the businesses in the industrial estate which runs alongside the river already experience small scale flooding from low points along the river bank – most notably during Storm Dennis in February 2020.

Without intervention, we estimate that a flood could overtop the existing bund and cause significant damage to homes and businesses in the area in the future.

The industrial estate is a key contributor to Newport’s employment and economy. A large-scale flood in this area could have a disastrous impact on the local economy and community.

The cost of a significant flood affecting the area is estimated at £230m.
 

Proposals for new scheme

The existing flood bund stretches 1,350m along the eastern embankment of the River Usk.

The proposals recommend raising parts of the existing earth embankment. In other areas, new flood walls will be constructed to raise the defence to the required level.  

A new flood gate is also proposed for Corporation Road, along with a new stretch of highway to improve access to the industrial estate when the flood gate is closed.

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Outline of scheme proposals. View the PDF file for full details.

Improvements to riverbank defences

  • A 240m stretch of the existing bund through Coronation Park will be raised.
  • A 590m stretch of the existing bund to the south of Coronation Park will be raised and upgraded with a new sheet pile wall.
  • A 640m stretch of new concrete wall through the Felnex industrial estate.
  • Minor localised ground raising of the Stephenson Street highway to maintain the required defence level, as well we two other areas of localised raising of the top of the river bank further to the north.


Installation of new flood gate

  • A new flood gate will be installed across Corporation Road where it passes beneath the railway bridge to be closed ahead of any forecasted major flood events. 
  • A new 700m long stretch of highway will connect the current dead-end of Corporation Road to the Felnex Industrial Estate allowing traffic to exit Corporation Road when the flood gate is closed.
  • Two new short lengths of concrete flood wall in private industrial land in the south of the scheme.


Standard of flood protection and climate change

The proposals would increase flood protection to a one in 200-year flood event standard (this refers to a significant event which has a 0.5% chance of occurring in one year or a 63.3% chance of occuring in 200 years). This is in line with the Severn Estuary Flood Risk Management Strategy.

The proposals have been developed with climate change in mind, accounting for sea level rise and the predicted increased in rainfall over the next 50 years. We estimate that over 1,100 homes and 1,000 businesses would benefit from reduced flood risk as a result of the scheme, taking into account future climate change predictions.


Landscaping and public space enhancements

Visualisation of sheet pile wall and footpath upgrade

Visualisation showing proposed Wales Coast Path footpath upgrade. 

The existing flood bund is a public footpath and also forms path of the iconic Wales Coast Path. NRW is responsible for managing and promoting the Wales Coast Path and understands the value it brings.

The proposals will require a very minor realignment of the Wales Coast Path in some areas to allow for the raising of the existing bund and the installation of a new sheet pile flood wall.

Our plans include upgrading the affected section of the Wales Coast Path, as well as improvements to the green space at Coronation Park.

A new path will be created within Coronation Park to provide better connection between  the riverside  and the sports pitches, creating a circular walking route. Viewing platforms will be integrated into the embankment to allow for resting areas and provide a connection with the riverside habitats.

Tree and wildflower planting will be provided within the park to increase local biodiversity, in addition to three urban forests providing around 1,600 new, young trees.

Additional bins will be installed to reduce litter and dog waste and new interpretation boards providing information on the project, biodiversity and heritage of the area.

Visualisation of sheet pile wall and footath upgrade

Visualisation showing proposal for sheet pile wall and Wales Coast Path footpath upgrade.

Environmental considerations

The River Usk at this location is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and extends from the river to the crest of the embankment. Parts of the embankment are also Sites of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC) for their habitats.

Shad, a species of fish, are a feature of the SAC and are sensitive to vibration.

Historical records also show a number of protected species in the area – including Schedule one birds, otters, bats and barn owls. Surveys have also identified potential habitats for water vole, dormouse, badger and great-crested newt.

Extensive species-specific surveys within a study area have confirmed that these are not likely to be found or breeding within the affected works area. Trees near the scheme were further investigated for bat roosting potential in May 2021 and work adjacent to one tree shall be undertaken under an agreed Precautionary Method of working to reduce the potential for disturbance.

Construction of the scheme has been planned to minimise the impact on any sensitive species and habitats to ensure there is no permanent loss to protected habitats. Techniques such as ‘silent’ hydraulic machinery will be used during construction in sensitive areas to minimise noise and vibrations. The location of the proposed defences is far enough away from the river (>40m) to avoid the potential for any vibration effects on fish during their migration season.

Despite sensitive design, we’ve identified approximately 650 trees and shrubs that will need to be removed during construction. An assessment of these has identified the majority to be low value, self-seeded and stunted trees and shrubs. To mitigate e for this, we plan to replant approximately 1,600 new, young trees creating three ‘urban forests’ primarily at Coronation Park.

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Outline of landscaping proposals. View the PDF file for full details.

More information about how we have considered the impact on the environment can be found in our planning application documents (scroll down for attachments).

More information

If you’d like more information about the scheme please get in touch by emailing stephensonstreet@naturalresources.wales 

What happens next

NRW will now commence the contractor tendering exercise. Work is estimated to begin Spring 2022.

Areas

  • Liswerry
  • Newport

Audiences

  • Flooding
  • Llifogydd
  • English

Interests

  • Flooding
  • Llifogydd