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Roath Flood Scheme


Roath is a central suburb in Cardiff, through which runs Roath Brook. The Roath Brook burst its banks most recently during high river flows in 2007 and 2009 and during high tidal events in 2010 and 2012.Flood risk areas of Roath and Rhymney

Many homes and businesses in the area are at risk of flooding. This is from high river flows, high tides or a combination of both.

The likelihood of flooding will only increase over time, as a rise in sea levels and more frequent and intense heavy rainfall are predicted as a result of climate change.

Welsh Government has made a commitment to provide funding for flood management schemes across Wales, in order to minimise the risk and mitigate the impact of flood events. In light of the flood risk in Roath, we’re seeking to deliver a Flood Risk Management Scheme (FRMS) for the area.

We have already undertaken works to increase the flood protection at the River Rhymney in January 2015.

The Scheme

The Roath Flood Scheme will increase the level of protection for the community up to a 1 in 75 year flood event (1.3 percent chance of flooding in any given year) from high river flows and 1 in 150 year flood event (0.6 percent chance of flooding in any given year) of extreme tidal flows. The scheme will reduce the flood risk to 360 homes and 45 businesses.

We will make improvements at several locations along the brook between Roath Brook Gardens and the River Rhymney at Newport Road (near to the Morrison’s supermarket). The main areas for improvement are:

  • Roath Brook Gardens
  • Roath Mill Gardens
  • Waterloo Gardens
  • Railway Gardens (The Sandies)

Overview planOur aim is to build flood walls and embankments, but soften these hard features with urban landscaping. We will also widen the river channel in Roath Brook Gardens and enhance a number of bridges to increase the brook’s flow capacity.

Through continual consultation with local residents, businesses and stakeholders, we’ve listened to the local community who’ve helped us shape the final design, including minimising tree removal and reduction in walls across the scheme.

Planning permission was granted for the scheme in April 2016 by Cardiff Council. The details for the planning submission can be viewed online.

We’re confident that this new scheme will really make a difference to people living and working in Roath who have lived with the threat of flooding for many years.

Latest News

June 2017

Dais Area

To maintain access through Waterloo Gardens we need to connect the pathways and new raised bridge across the new flood walls. In the south side of the park this requires an elevated pathway and access ramps to the bridge. Landscape design has extended this area to become a feature space, which has been named the “dais area”. In response to recent public interest in the dais area, we presented four options at a scheme drop-in session on 6 April 2017 and received feedback from members of the public. 

After considering the feedback, and further consulting with key stakeholders and statutory authorities, we’ve decided to proceed with a modification of Option 4 (the dais with pergola). The Waterloo Gardens Dais Area Decision Document outlines the process behind this decision.

Piling works

The new sheet pile flood wall is being constructed within the parks. The piles will generally be installed using a tracked machine which loosens the ground prior to installing the metal sheet piles using a vibratory hammer. Loosening the soil in advance reduces the noise and vibration created. We will monitor for noise and vibration during the piling to ensure they are not excessive and are within acceptable limits. The attached plan shows areas that will be most affected by noise and vibration for short periods in the next few weeks. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

May 2017

We are continuing the construction of the flood walls and embankments in Railway Gardens, and utility providers are undertaking services diversions in the vicinity of Waterloo Road Bridge, as well as in and around Waterloo Gardens.

We are still reviewing design options for the raised dais area in Waterloo Gardens, following comments provided during the recent drop in session.

We shall begin piling the flood walls in Waterloo Gardens in mid May, please be advised that although measures will be in place to reduce the impact on the surrounding area, this will be disruptive with noise and vibration.

March 2017

Our contractor Dawnus is now on site, having set-up a site compound in Railway Gardens and erected timber hoarding boards as a site boundary. We have nearly completed tree and vegetation removal and pollarding in Waterloo Gardens, Railway Gardens and the downstream end of Roath Mill Gardens.

We’ve started the main construction works, excavating for the flood walls and embankments in Railway Gardens. We shall be piling the flood walls in Waterloo Gardens after Easter, please be advised that this will be disruptive with noise and vibration.

Unfortunately we’ll be closing the footbridge from Newminster Road to Waterloo Gardens road from early April for approximately five months to replace it and construct the adjacent flood walls. We’ll re-open this as soon as we possibly can. During this time pedestrian access across the Brook will be maintained at Waterloo Road bridge as an alternative route.

We have a cabin in Waterloo Gardens for people to come and find out more information and speak with our Community Officer, Matthew Frewer. We have also arranged a drop-in event on Thursday 6 April from 3pm until 7pm at St Peter’s Rugby Club and welcome people who want to discuss the scheme with us.

We have received feedback from the community regarding the pergola structure located on the raised dais area in Waterloo Gardens and are currently reviewing design options for this area. We welcome further comments from people on this proposal.

January 2017: We held a drop-in session on 11 January for the public to meet our contractor and to ask about the works. Approximately 100 people attended and we received some helpful feedback.

Construction is currently set to start in mid-February, and closure of the parks will be advertised in advance. Traffic management plans are currently being discussed with Cardiff Council.

December 2016: We have appointed the main contractor Dawnus to carry out the flood scheme works on our behalf. Dawnus are one of our framework suppliers and are experienced civil engineering contractors. They are currently preparing relevant documentation prior to any site works which will start in the new year.

We’ve organised a drop-in session to meet with the contractor and public artist on 11 January 2017 from 3pm to 7pm at St Peter’s Rugby Club to discuss the programme of works. Please drop by for a chat – we would really value your comments.

November 2016: A Welsh artist, Rubin Eynon, has been appointed to create an art installation for the Roath scheme. Rubin has worked on many community and park schemes and is looking forward to discussing and sharing ideas with the local community to help shape the art over the coming months. We have also appointed Cooke and Arkwright to undertake surveys for properties nearest to the planned construction areas. They will follow up with a letter drop for any properties highlighted for survey.

September 2016: We are currently working to appoint a contractor for the main works. Part of the requirement is for a dedicated Community Officer to provide a point of contact for local residents throughout the construction works. A local public artist is also being appointed to provide an art installation in Roath Mill Gardens (see section below for more details).

July 2016: The discharge of the Planning Conditions is underway, providing details to Cardiff Council for all elements of the work including ecological and archaeological surveys and proposals for land remediation.

April 2016: Planning Application accepted by Cardiff Council.

Previous Consultation

Through consultation with local residents, businesses and stakeholders, we’ve listened to the local community who’ve helped us shape the final design, including minimising tree removal and reduction in walls across the scheme. Public consultation activities include:

  • Door knocking and meetings to raise flood awareness and produce Community Flood Plan: from 2012 to 2014
  • Public drop-in sessions: May 2014, October 2014, July 2015, January 2017
  • Stand at Waterloo Gardens Fete: August 2014, July 2015, July 2016
  • Walkover of site with local residents: September 2015
  • Press adverts, site notices and consultation letters to properties that border the gardens
  • Regular updates via newsletters, posters, the Roath Flood Scheme webpage and social media

July 2015

We revised our proposals for the fluvial section of the route between Roath Brook Gardens and Railway Gardens, as well as the tidal section downstream of Sainsbury’s. The changes were put on display at a drop-in session at Roath Church House in July 2015. Approximately 150 people attended and were able to discuss the proposals with members of the Roath Project Team, recording all comments on feedback forms. We also presented our proposals to the Design Commission for Wales in August 2015.

For further details on the scheme, see the information boards used for the July 2015 public consultation.

Since the consultation in July 2015 we have made a few small changes to the design. In Railway Gardens, rather than replacing the hedge along Newminster Road a grass verge and localised pockets of planting will be provided, and due to construction requirements an additional 3 trees will be removed from the park.  In Waterloo Gardens a timber and stone pergola will be installed on the new raised dais area adjacent to the footbridge, and additional planting will be undertaken within the park. In Roath Mill Gardens the design of the handrail has been changed from timber to metal, in keeping with the Victorian style railings in the area.

January 2017

We held a drop-in session on 11 January 2017 for the public to meet our contractor and to discuss queries relating to the works.

April 2017

We held a drop-in session on 6 April 2017 for people to discuss queries relating to the works. For details, see the information boards used for the event, and NRW's responses to feedback and questions provided during and following the event. 

January 2018

We held seven workshops over three days (23-25 January) to give a detailed presentation of the flood scheme to residents, to listen to their concerns and answer any questions they had. Thanks to all 112 people who attended. We appreciate the range of feedback we received. The presentation given at the workshops is available for people to read.

‘Before’ and ‘After’ Images

 waterloo pergola before waterloo pergola after


A series of photo montages have been prepared to show how the scheme will look before and after the works, at particular locations along the route and within the Roath gardens.

Public Art

As part of NRW’s commitment to meeting the goals of the ‘Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act’, the integration of public art into Roath has been identified as one scheme which will support these goals. The aims of the public art commission, to be installed in Roath Mill Gardens, will be to:

  • Recognise and interpret Roath Mill Gardens’ historic and environmental interest
  • Contribute to a sense of identity for Roath Mill Gardens
  • Promote an attractive, safe and well-connected community
  • Advocate local culture and heritage through encouraging people to participate

Our artist, Rubin Eynon, has been working on a piece of art to be integrated into Roath Mill Gardens. Informed by community consultation via our last drop-in session and Rubin’s dedicated Facebook page, the chosen design is a bronze model of the old Roath Mill, as shown in the images below. This will be approximately 50cm by 50cm wide on a 100cm high plinth, and will be located on a widening of the footpath upstream of Waterloo Road bridge, near where Roath Mill was located. Rubin will now be approaching local schools to involve them with development of the model.

This proposal has been developed in conjunction with us, the City of Cardiff Council, CADW and the local community.

Art figures standing around an art displayClose up view on an art display

Construction, Disruption and Local Businesses

We’ll do everything we can to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses while we undertake these improvements, and we appreciate the support and cooperation of the local community.

We’ll inform people of activities during the construction phase, including:

  • Tree clearance prior to construction
  • Construction programme and areas of activity
  • Garden and road closures

We will keep people informed of any planned road and garden closures or diversions as early as possible via this webpage and social media - Twitter: @natreswales, Facebook: NatResWales.

We have been informed that members of our workforce have been subjected to rude and abusive treatment by a minority of members of the public. We are sad to hear of this as they are only undertaking the work they have been contracted to do, and we urge the community to please respect them whilst they do so. For any queries or complaints please contact us or Dawnus’s Community Officer using the contact details below.

Local Businesses

All of the businesses on Waterloo Gardens are open as usual during the construction of the scheme.

Construction Updates

05 October 2017

Unfortunately we have encountered difficulties installing the piles both sides of the Brook between Railway Gardens and Waterloo Gardens, due to the ground conditions which is causing delays.

We have tried to mitigate this delay by using different equipment to install the piles, and undertaking further ground investigation to inform an update of the design.

Works to replace Waterloo Road Bridge and the construction and cladding of the flood walls in Railway Gardens have been progressing to programme.

The current forecast dates for piling works are as follows, but note there is still a risk of further delay due to the ground conditions being experienced.

Railway Gardens             

South side of the brook - Completed by the end of October.

North side of the brook - Completed by the middle of October.

Waterloo Gardens          

South side of the brook (central area by old footbridge) – Completed by the end of October.

North side of the brook - November and December. Completed by the middle of December.

Roath Mill Gardens        

South side of the brook - Complete

North side of the brook - Complete

Both sides, additional piles to tie into new bridge foundations – January. Completed by the end of month.

29 August 2017

As you will be aware construction works for the Roath Flood Scheme are progressing throughout Railway Gardens (the Sandies), Waterloo Gardens, Waterloo Road Bridge and Roath Mill Gardens.

Works have been progressing well and to schedule on the construction of the concrete / brick flood walls within Railway Gardens, and the works to replace Waterloo Road Bridge.

Another key part of these works is the installation of steel sheet piles to form the foundations for the new flood defences. These piling works have progressed slower than expected due to difficult ground conditions, but we hope all piling work will be completed in the next few months. There are several different activities associated with installing the sheet piles, so noise levels vary considerably, with loud activities and vibration only occurring for relatively short durations. The contractor and site supervision team carefully monitor noise and vibration to ensure it is not excessive.

The current forecast dates for piling works are as follows (but please be aware these may change):

Railway Gardens

South side of the brook - End of August / early September

North side of the brook - End of August until mid-September

Waterloo Gardens

South side of the brook (central area by old footbridge) -September

North side of the brook - November and December

Roath Mill Gardens

South side of the brook - Mid-September

North side of the brook - Mid-September to end of September

Both sides, additional piles to tie into new bridge foundations - December


11 July 2017

We have now closed Waterloo Road bridge to demolish it and build a new one as part of the scheme. We expect to reopen the road by February 2018.

Diversion routes are signed along Marlborough Road / Pen-y-Lan Road and Newport Road / Colchester Avenue.

A reduced 20mph speed limit is in place in the area and we shall be installing some speed humps along Marlborough Road shortly. Cardiff Bus has diverted routes 1 and 2 along Blenheim Road. Pedestrian access across the brook is provided by a temporary footbridge next to the road bridge in Roath Mill Gardens.

There are currently 2-way traffic lights to access Waterloo Gardens from Waterloo Road, but we hope to remove these shortly. We apologise for the disruption and any inconvenience that this road closure causes and are endeavouring to minimise its duration and impact.

We've produced a map to show the diversions in place.

08 May 2017

In May and June we shall have 3-way traffic lights on Waterloo Road and Waterloo Gardens. We shall then close Waterloo Road bridge from early July to replace it. There will be road and bus route diversions in place during this time, and a pedestrian access shall be maintained across the brook. There will be 2-way traffic lights for access to Waterloo Gardens during this time also. We apologise for the disruption that this road closure will cause and are endeavouring to minimise its impact.

13 April 2017

Please be advised it is currently planned for the junction of Waterloo Road and Waterloo Gardens to have a lane closure and 3-way traffic lights in operation on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April. This is to allow the diversion of utilities prior to the replacement of Waterloo Road bridge. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Tree Removal and Planting

To achieve the required flood protection and construct the new flood walls and embankments, the removal of some trees along the banks of Roath Brook is required.

For detail on which trees will be removed and which will be protected, see the Arboricultural Impact Assessment. Details on what trees will be planted can be obtained from the Tree Planting Plans

We understand the concern the community has for the trees in the area, so we have focused the design efforts to minimise these impacts (for example, by avoiding removing trees around the edge of the park boundaries).

We cannot save every tree within the gardens, but have tried to get the correct balance of protecting the conservation area and the heritage features of the park, whilst still being able to construct the scheme and meet the required standard of flood protection.

Community Tree Bank

As NRW, our objective is to maintain a positive contribution to the community. We are currently looking to plant additional trees, both in parkland throughout Cardiff and through working with a local school, offering tree saplings to school children for home planting. This allows us to increase the overall number of planting to offset those which are removed and cannot be re-established within the existing Roath parkland.

Key dates

October 2015              Submission of Planning Application

April 2016                   Planning Application accepted

End 2016                    Appointment of Contractor

Early 2017                   Start of site construction

Summer 2018              End of site construction

Contact information

For construction related queries please contact Dawnus’s Community Officer, Matthew Frewer – 07880 358541

For other information, please email

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