Angry Prestatyn residents claim new sea defences will block view and devalue their homes
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Angry Prestatyn residents have slammed council sea defence plans, claiming the scheme will ruin views and devalue properties.
Denbighshire County Council has submitted a planning application to build a nine-foot-high earth bund to protect homes on the boundary of Rhyl and Prestatyn.
But residents living on Green Lanes in Prestatyn say the £20m coastal defence scheme will ruin sea views and devalue properties.
Funded by the Welsh Government, the coastal defence scheme will protect 2,100 homes in the area.
Residents are unhappy that the original plans displayed in the consultation were changed. The earth bund was originally set to be constructed on Rhyl Golf Club’s course; however, amended plans show the bund will now be at the boundary with Green Lanes, potentially spoiling residents’ views. The plans also include a cycle track.
Jane Stacey has lived on the street for 25 years, shares her home with her husband Mike and is furious the council is pushing ahead with the amended plans.
“We are not happy at all,” she said.
“This is going to affect our lives. We’ll have no view. We currently have a lovely open view of the sixth tee of Rhyl Golf Club and the sand dunes and the beach.
“That will all go because they are going to build an earth bund, and it’s going to be nine-foot-high eventually.”
She added: “There’s going to be a cycle track as well as a walkway. People are going to be cycling looking directly down into our garden. But it’s not so much that.
They can look down into our rooms, be it the lounge or the bedroom.
“I’m an ex-estate agent, and if I was describing this house, I would be saying ‘lovely open coastal views’. Now we won’t be able to say that. It will block our views and would be a monstrosity with people able to look down at our home, and I feel it would devalue our property.”
Cllr Paul Penlington is the Denbighshire County Council member for Prestatyn and backed the residents.
“I have argued that Prestatyn should be included in Denbighshire’s plans to improve sea defences for several years so I, of course, fully appreciate the need for work to be done as soon as possible,” he said.
“That work, however, should not have a detrimental effect on people’s homes and mental well-being. Denbighshire County Council have rushed revised plans through after a totally inadequate consultation period without giving anyone proper time, or information, to comment.
“I am extremely disappointed that residents’ opinions and the imposition on their properties have not been considered. I have now made a formal complaint about the pre-planning consultation held with regard to the proposed Prestatyn sea defences.”
A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “The proposed flood defence scheme will protect around 2,100 properties in Prestatyn.
“The council has carried out a study which has shown some sea defences that protect Prestatyn are in a poor condition and the risk to properties will increase in the coming years. The scheme we have designed will provide a significant level of additional protection to those 2,100 properties.
“We have worked to minimise the impact and to balance the needs of all those involved, and the proposals have been the subject of a full and extensive public consultation allowing members of the public to have their say.
“This also included a public meeting, newsletters and face-to-face meetings between residents and staff. A number of residents did feed back their concerns about the scheme as part of the planning pre-application consultation, and these comments have been fed into the planning process.
“The proposed scheme is expected to cost around £20million and if approved will be funded by the Welsh Government and Denbighshire County Council. The council explored alternative options, but these would have seen costs increase by up to £40million without any potential external funding available to cover this increase, meaning those alternative options were not viable.
“The current Welsh Government funding programme for coastal flood protection is only available for a limited time and it is therefore essential the council attempts to progress this scheme so that an opportunity to protect these communities is not lost.
“A planning application has now been submitted and members of the public can continue to engage and have their say as part of the planning process.”
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