New multi-million pound Mumbles seawall set to provide protection from climate change until 2070
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Multi-million plans to upgrade the seawall at Mumbles have been approved.
A 1.1km stretch of the wall and revetment between Knab Rock and the Dairy car park, by Oystermouth Square, will be strengthened and raised by up to 70cm.
The promenade will be wider than currently and there will be additional seating and play areas, and 46 new trees. Some parking areas behind the prom will be reconfigured, with five spaces lost.
Swansea Council’s planning committee was told the work would be done in 100m sections, and that the new wall would offer a one-in-200-year standard of protection against coastal flooding.
A planning report said this protection had an allowance built in for climate change up to 2070.
Councillors were enthusiastic about the scheme but wanted reassurance about the seawall’s ability to cope with future sea level rises.
Introducing the application, a council officer said the current sea defences were in a poor state.
“If nothing is done, they will fail and Mumbles will suffer from flooding,” he said.
The officer said the design of the new seawall was measured against current climate change estimates, and that he didn’t know what future sea levels might be.
Cllr Des Thomas said it was “an opportunity of a lifetime” for Mumbles and that the seawall was in “desperate need of improvement”.
Widening the promenade, he said, was brilliant given the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.
“The only niggling thing is the speed of the cyclists,” said Cllr Thomas. “If some kind of restriction for the cyclists could be introduced, that would be welcome.”
A highways officer said the onus would be people to share the path, and that he had no idea how a speed restriction could be enforced.
Cllr Will Evans said it would help greatly if everyone followed the Highway Code.
There were 15 objections to the seawall proposal. Some objectors wanted the seawall and promenade to extend outwards to provide more space for people, but there is a strict “holding the line” policy for that stretch of coastline.
Planning officers recommended the application for approval, subject to conditions.
Cllr Cyril Anderson said: “I’m 100% behind it.”
Councillors were told at a meeting last October that the Welsh Government-funded project is expected to cost around £12 million.
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