A homeowner has told ITV News that he is warning people about the dangers of buying properties on a floodplain after the garden of his 'dream home' was swept away in the recent floods.
Leigh Adams and his family are now living in emergency accommodation after Storm Dennis caused the Ebbw River to burst its banks.
The Adams family moved into their new home in the Bassaleg area just 20 months ago.
It's now to us a house of horrors...it's devastating for us. We ran out the back, I had scaffolding up and within 20 minutes they had gone down and I literally watched the back of the bank and then the back of my property and the fences and the patio and all of that go down [the street].
We had 30ft of river bank between us and water. Were assured that everything would be safe...we thought we were safe. We put our daughter in a house that we thought was safe. It clearly wasn't and we've been told that the foundations are being undermined. Every single time we come back here, more of the fence has gone, more of the garden has gone...I'll never be able to sleep there again.
The family is now asking housing developer Redrow to find them a new home after they left the property due to the floods.
The damage to his home is being assessed and we continue to work with all parties involved, including Newport City Council who own the land which was eroded during the storms. Although we appreciate it may be little consolation for Mr Adams, the flood defence works approved by the relevant authorities and put in place near the site, and further up the River Ebbw, helped to significantly mitigate the damage from this extreme weather event. There are 108 occupied homes on the site and the Adams' home remains the only uninhabitable property as a result of storm damage. We will continue to do what we can to help the Adams family during this distressing time.
Newport City Council who own the bank turned down developer Redrow's original planning application, but it was passed by the Welsh Assembly Government on appeal.
A Welsh Government Spokesperson said: “The recent flooding is a stark reminder of how vulnerable many communities are to flooding, and how important the planning system is in managing flood risk whilst ensuring that we continue to build the number of homes needed.
"Our policy framework clearly states that houses should not be built on flood plains.”
Following the devastating flooding last month, Newport City Council is working with the landowners, developers and statutory partners to facilitate any additional measures required to protect people and property. In 2005, Newport City Council refused planning permission for a residential development on the former Tredegar Park Golf Course on the grounds of the flood risk and the loss of the natural floodplain. The applicant appealed and a planning inquiry was held when the inspector broadly agreed with the council’s decision. However, the Welsh Assembly’s planning decision committee considered the case after being called in by the Welsh Assembly Government. It concluded that the risk of flooding would not be unacceptable and placed considerable weight on the applicant’s claim that new flood defences would provide enhanced further protection further downstream. The application was approved by the Assembly committee in March 2007. >