“IT’S not about the flood risk it’s about how you deal with it,” said a Ceredigion County Councillor as a plan for a new ambulance station in Aberaeron is given the go-ahead.
The proposal to convert an existing building behind the town’s new integrated care centre had been recommended for refusal on flooding risk grounds.
The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) plan for Minaeron, Vicarage Hill, which is in a flood risk zone, is to convert a former council garage into offices with space for two ambulances and first response vehicles.
Operations manager for the Hywel Dda area Rob Jeffery told the development control committee on Wednesday (September 11) “from an operational point of view we’ve done significant modelling and this will provide an enhanced performance and delivery for the local community.”
Concerns about removing the ambulance station, housed in temporary buildings, from New Quay will be mitigated by the location of first response vehicles in the area, particularly in the summer, he added.
Local member Cllr Elizabeth Evans , who requested the application be considered by the committee, said that the site had not flooded during Storm Callum last year when the highest river levels on the Aeron were recorded.
The building had no history of flooding she added.
“The flood plain must be respected but the building is already in situ and is raised on a concrete car park, the integrity of this site would not be compromised,” said Cllr Evans, adding that flood maps did not indicate the localised nature of flooding in Aberaeron.
“To have the ambulance service on the site of the new health centre makes complete sense and the mitigation measures are clearly identified in the unlikely case of an extreme flood event,” she said.
Cllr Rowland Rees Evans agreed and said a flood could happen tomorrow “but it’s not about that it’s about how you deal with the emergency if it happens.
“It’s not about the flood it’s about how you deal with it.”
Councillors were satisfied that mitigation measures would not impact on the ambulance service’s ability to attend emergencies during flooding and voted unanimously to approve the plan.