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Hirael Bay allocated £260,000 in flood protection scheme

10 Apr 2022 3 minute read
“A snowy day on Hirael Bay” by omniglot is marked with CC BY 2.0.

A national scheme, totalling more than £214m over three years, will see over £260,500 allocated in funding to provide flood mitigation at Bae Hirael in Bangor.

Siân Gwenllian MS for Arfon has welcomed an announcement by the Welsh Government, achieved through the Plaid Cymru Cooperation Agreement, that will see the Government introduce their largest ever flood protection programme.

With flood warnings issued for parts of Hirael Bay as recently as in February, in response to Storm Eunice, residents of the area have repeatedly experienced the threat and consequences of flooding, and it is understood that around 200 homes will benefit from the investment.

Bangor has been identified as an area at risk of flooding due to climate change, and the low-lying area facing a combination of risk factors including a rise in sea levels, ground water caused by a high water table, rainwater, surface water and water from Afon Adda that discharges into the sea.

Siân Gwenllian said: “I welcome the commitment secured through Plaid Cymru’s Cooperation agreement with the Welsh Government that will see £267,500 allocated for flood mitigation work at Bae Hirael.

“Local people who live in constant fear of flooding and damage to property desperately need this reassurance.

“Hirael residents have had their fair share of difficulties as a consequence of flooding, and as people living in coastal areas face an increased risk due to climate change, this proactive response from the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru is crucial.”

Climate change

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change confirmed plans for the Hirael flood prevention work. “Gwynedd Council are designing a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion at Hirael bay.

“Natural Resources Wales are also reviewing the modelling data of the Afon Adda. The review will confirm the current standard of protection and consider the potential future risk associated with climate change.

“This will get worse as climate change intensifies—we know this is the case—and Hirael is particularly vulnerable. So, we are investing £213 million in flood schemes, and this includes a scheme in Hirael bay.

“It is currently at the detailed design stage with Gwynedd Council, and construction is designed to begin this coming financial year.”

In December 2021 plans were submitted to build 600 metres of new sea defences to help protect a north Wales city from future rising sea levels.

With a rise of between 12-13cm having already been noted between 1991 and 2015, the Gwynedd Council plans span four sections:

  • Beach Road East carpark: A new concrete wall between the existing field and cycle path. Cycle path to be graded and aligned with reconstruction of slipway to provide access to the foreshore with a flood gate installed.
  • Sea wall at promenade frontage: A retaining wall to replace existing gabions at the promenade, from Beach Road East carpark to Welsh Water pumping station.
  • Embankment behind Welsh Water pumping station: A compacted 1m wide crest topsoil and clay embankment with a re-routed cycle path installed directly behind the embankment.
  • Glandŵr Road: An approximately 20m section of road at Glandwr Road raised slightly (highest point of increase is 0.5m). Construction of a new reinforced concrete wall.

To provide adequate flood protection, it is proposed that the wall would be raised some 1.3 m (4’3”) above the existing level of the promenade.

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