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Controversial plans to hold back the rising sea at Llandudno to be debated

27 May 2021 2 minutes Read
Llandudno. Picture by Nigel Swales. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter

The first stone in the battle to sort out Llandudno’s seven-year sea defence saga looks set to be cast next week.

Conwy council’s economy and place scrutiny committee will pore over a report outlining two very different options regarding the management of the resort’s rising seas.

It is a subject which caused an outcry in the town since the decision to dump thousand of tons of stone on the town’s sandy beach, in a bid to mitigate rising tides, was first made in 2014.

Since then a coastal forum, including councillors, council officers and interested members of the public, has been prevaricating over what to do next, as it’s estimated sea levels could rise by between 0.89-1.21m over the next 100 years.

As a result of those deliberations councillors are being asked to choose between two entirely different schemes for the Traeth y Gogledd (North Shore) beach, in a bid to access some of the £150m on offer from Welsh Government as part of its Coastal Risk Management Programme.

‘Sand’

The preferred option for officers is to continue with the status quo of a cobble bank but increase the height of the promenade wall, plus periodic maintenance of West Shore’s defences would take place, at a total cost of around £6.7m.

The second option, to remove the cobbles, replace sand and manage erosion by the use of timber groynes would cost almost £24m according to officers.

If the bid to get the work done in Llandudno was successful 85% of the scheme costs would be refunded by Welsh Government, leaving Conwy county council with a bill of either £1m or £3.6m to be met from capital budgets.

A public event in 2019 found locals “strongly requested CCBC pursued the option at North Shore to replace the existing coastal defence mechanism protecting the revetment (cobble) with sand and control structures”.

However consultants for the council found the other option to be better value which the report said was “at variance with the favoured option supported by the overwhelming majority of the respondents from the drop in session”.

It’s now being left to councillors at next Tuesday’s scrutiny meeting to decide which scheme they want to take forward for final approval.

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Martin Owen
Martin Owen
17 days ago

Given that tourism contributes £904million pa to the Conwy economy, the return to a sandy beach seems a small price to pay.

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