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Multi-million pound sea defence plans given the green light

13 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Kinmel Bay. Photo by Reading Tom, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

Plans for a multi-million pound sea defence scheme and the major upgrade of a popular seaside resort have been given the green light.

Conwy County Council’s planning committee backed proposals for the work at Kinmel Bay during a meeting on Thursday (12 October).

Councillors indicated they would have liked more time to consider the application in order to mull over aesthetic improvements to less important details such as street furniture, but officers said time was of the essence.

An application for funding must be submitted by March 2024, which would likely see the Welsh Government pay for most of the costs. Conwy Council could fund up to 15% of the cost of the sea defences.

A separate application for more improved sea defences at Llandudno is also expected to come before the planning committee around January – with the same deadline looming.

Assuming funding is successful, the work will see improved rock armour defences, the raising of sea walls, and improved beach access.

New parklets, street furniture, a toilet block, upgrades to the car park and ecological enhancements are also planned.

Urgent need

Cllr Ifor Lloyd proposed councillors back the plans as the council didn’t have the luxury of time, a view shared by Cllr Chris Cater, who seconded Cllr Lloyd.

“We need this coastal defence scheme. We need the coast to be protected,” said Cllr Cater.

“It is good that we are having some public realm improvements, just like in my ward when we had the Penrhyn Bay scheme, which has been very successful and much admired and very appreciated.

“I think what’s really in front of the committee today is do we have the luxury of delaying this and perhaps doing a site visit to investigate the public realm improvements further.

“Do we have the luxury of having time to do that? It doesn’t look as if we do. So in that case, I am happy to support Cllr Ifor in his proposal.”

If funding is secured, the proposed works will take place between the promenade and foreshore, extending from the existing rock revetment to the north of Golden Sands Caravan Park in an eastward direction – and to the boundary with Horton’s Nose Nature Reserve north of Pont y Ddraig.

The council says the upgrade will improve the coastal flood protection offered by the current rock armour unit and will protect the coast from ‘a one-in-200-year event’ up to the year 2041.

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