Tan Lan Embankment Conwy Valley - viability study


Tan Lan Embankment is a 3.2km long ageing embankment located close to Maenan Abbey and 2km North of Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley.  It follows the meandering River Conwy from the railway crossing at National Grid Reference 279060, 363500 to another railway crossing at 278560, 365734

The embankment currently provides a very low-level of flood protection to 6 homes, local businesses (including 49 caravans), agricultural land, the main A470 north-south trunk road and the rail link connecting Conwy Valley communities with the main-line at Llandudno Junction. 

Due to its location on the River Conwy and within the Normal Tidal Limit (NTL), it is subject to regular breaches and flood damage .  Since the 1960’s at least 10 breaches to the embankment and numerous other repairs have been recorded.

During Storm Ciara, on the weekend of 7 February 2020, the Conwy Valley flood scheme successfully defended properties in Llanrwst and Trefriw from flooding from the River Conwy.  However, the high river level did, once again, damage and breach the Tan Lan Embankment causing agricultural and low-lying land to flood.

It is anticipated that, as part of the climate emergency, we will have more frequent storms and heavy rain as well as rising sea levels.  The breaching and damage of the Tan Lan Embankment is, therefore, going to be an ongoing issue, given its deteriorating condition and relatively low level.  

NRW is responsible for protecting people and homes most at risk from flooding.  In line with Welsh Government priorities, we are taking a more sustainable approach to flood risk management and exploring opportunities to enable our landscape to adapt to climate change.

About The Viability Study

Before we commit to any further repair works, we are going to undertake a viability study to find the best options for the future of the embankment, taking into consideration the impact of the wider Conwy Valley area. 

The study will identify sustainable options for managing the embankment and flood risk to local communities.  An important part of this process we will be talking to local residents, landowners and communities within Maenan and Tan Lan.

We need to make sure that changes to the embankment don’t have wider flood risk impacts on local services, homes and infrastructure. 

Any decision about the future of the embankment will need to take into account the West Wales Shoreline Management Plan that provides a framework for managing the long-term impact of tidal flooding across Wales.  It includes the Upper Conwy Estuary from Tal y Cafn to Llanrwst. 

Each site within the plan must be looked at in detail and on its own merits before any flood management adaptations are undertaken.  Further information can be found in the following links:

The solution will also need to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.  There is more information about how we are working with these on our website:

The Well-being of Future Generations

Natural Resource Management

Keeping In Touch

We are committed to ensuring local communities and those interested in the project can get involved in the discussion surrounding the future of the Tan Lan Embankment.  Details on the study and how to have your say will be announced as the project evolves.

If you would like further information about the project or to receive regular updates, please get in touch: tan.lan@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

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