PROTESTORS against a potential dam being built on Dinas Powys woodland raised concerns after a similar model in Cowbridge developed a fault.

Natural Resources Wales made an announcement on November 5 that, during a regular inspection of the site, flood defences for the River Thaw had developed a “minor fault”.

The fault has raised concerns among residents in Dinas Powys, where the NRW proposed a similar dam as one option to alleviate potential flood risk.

The Dinas Powys proposal has met with significant criticism and opposition as protestors say it will damage ancient woodland, use up to £7m of public money and could restrict access to a popular recreational area, with almost one hundred protestors marching against it in September.

Cathy Farr, of Stop the Dam in Dinas Powys, said: “NRW said the structural integrity of the Cowbridge reservoir is not affected, but the lack of detail has done nothing to allay our fears. Over the past two weeks we have seen reports of roads flooding upstream of the Cowbridge FSA [Flood Storage Area]. Two weeks ago I visited the site and took photographs.

“I was horrified at the size of the flooded area that, at the time was under about four feet of water. Footpaths are flooded and the water near the dam itself was only about two feet from the top.

“Houses have now been built on the former flood plain. If that dam fails, they, and the rest of the town will be in real trouble.

“It was just so depressing to see all that water. Where has all the wildlife gone that would have regarded it as home?

“If they do the same thing in Dinas Powys they will destroy woodland, including irreplaceable ancient woodland that is currently home to bats, birds, foxes and rabbits – there is even a chance that dormice live there.”

Tim England, operations manager (flood and water management) for Natural Resources Wales, said: “We appreciate the passion that many people of Dinas Powys and beyond have for their local environment.

“Our task at the moment, as we have previously advised the interested parties, is to look at options to reduce the flood risk to the people in Dinas Powys and then present our findings to the community to ask them what they think.

“There will be ample time for all of those with an interest in our potential scheme to contribute to the options to determine which, if any, can be taken forward.”

The NRW declined to comment on comparisons between the Cowbridge flood scheme and the possible Dinas Powys scheme.