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Council in discussions over damage to sand dunes on Swansea beach

12 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Sand dunes on Swansea beach, looking west from the West Pier. Photo Richard Youle

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

Sand dunes on Swansea beach have been damaged, according to the council, which is discussing the situation with the owner of the adjacent docks.

A report before a council scrutiny panel last week mentioned that specialist advice had been sought to survey damage to habitat at Swansea West Pier and recommend “mitigation options and enforcement”, but no further details were given and it wasn’t discussed by the panel.

When contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Associated British Ports (ABP), which owns the docks and recently commissioned the rebuilding of Swansea West Pier’s inner wall, said its sister company was reviewing the claims by the council.

The area where the machinery was kept during the rebuilding of the West Pier inner wall. Photo Richard Youle

An APB spokeswoman said the £10 million project was completed last October, and added: “One of the objectives was to prevent coastal erosion, and the construction by a specialist engineering company was preceded by a range of engineering and environmental surveys to ensure that any disturbance to the marine and operational environment was minimised.

“Our sister company, ABPmer, specialists in marine environmental research, is reviewing the claims made by Swansea Council.”

The construction scheme required hefty piling and machinery was kept at a temporary compound at the rear of the dune area, near the marina playground.

The 240-metre inner wall had been deteriorating prior to the re-build, and emergency repairs were carried out in 2017 and 2018.

Shipping

The main West Pier itself was built in the 1800s to help shipping in and out of the city’s busy docks.

The council manages the beach’s dunes, which form part of a site of importance for nature conservation, and it has previously dealt with non-native plants and replaced them with wildflowers to increase biodiversity.

In 2016 new dunes were created further along the beach, just past the Civic Centre’, to act as a buffer against storm surges.

Asked for further details on the dune issue by the West Pier, a council spokesman said: “Some dunes have been damaged in the area, so we have commissioned a study to look at ways of restoring them.

We’re in discussions with ABP to find a mutually acceptable solution that will benefit the port authorities, nearby residents and visitors to the area.”


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