A Welsh farmer said farmers should be ’wary’ about the scheme and ’vote against it’.
A Welsh farmer has warned of the funding implications of using land for flood water storage.
David Edwards of Conwy Valley, had a similar scheme implemented seven years ago following Environment Agency (EA) work on a local embankment.
His alert came following a recent announcement from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee which said farmers should be offered incentives to use fields to store excess floodwater.
Mr Edwards said farmers should be ‘wary’ about the scheme and carefully consider the wider effects before agreeing to offer land.
“I strongly advise to vote against it,” Mr Edwards said. “It has ruined excellent agricultural land.
“I used to grow maize and potatoes but the risk is far too high now.”
Mr Edwards criticised the EA for failure to provide further support following the floods, claiming it had refused to listen to local people.
He said the nearby village of Trefriw was often flooded and ‘cut off’ by water.
“They kept telling us there was no chance it would flood but it was six feet under every time. The fencing gets washed away and the EA are not giving money to replace it.
“I sold my land, but I imagine the man who bought it is crippled with fencing costs.”
Gareth Evens, flood risk management team leader for Natural Resources Wales, defended the scheme.
“The scheme we created to reduce flood risk for people in Conwy Valley works by allowing floodwater to flow onto the natural floodplain on the valley floor,” he said.
“It has successfully prevented homes in Llanrwst and Trefriw from flooding many times, but it also has some obvious implications for the landowners.
“Before the scheme was built, we worked closely with the local landowners to create a compensation package which took their concerns into account.
“The final package we agreed with them provided sufficient resources for any additional maintenance which would be required as a result of the more frequent flooding of their land.”