Plans advance for £12 million Mumbles seawall
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Detailed designs are to be drawn up for a new Mumbles seawall, which could lead to other upgrades at the popular tourist destination.
Swansea Council’s cabinet formally accepted £1.7 million from the Welsh Government for the first phase of the project, which could cost around £12 million in total.
The new 1km stretch of seawall between Oystermouth Square and the slipway at Knab Rock will be designed to protect around 120 properties from flooding in a one in 200-year event.
Cllr Mark Thomas, cabinet member for environment enhancement and infrastructure management, told the meeting the current structure was crumbling and that it wasn’t going to protect Mumbles in the coming years.
He said the new stretch would be half a metre above what is now the lowest section, at Southend Gardens.
Cllr Thomas said the council aimed to preserve references to the Mumbles railway, which once ran along the wall, and other points of local interest.
He also said the council wanted the seawall to lead to upgrades in the vicinity.
“We’ve got one chance to get this right, and we are determined to get it right,” he said.
Cllr Thomas said a consultation on the seawall scheme had generated a lot of interest, and that further consultation would be carried out shortly.
Cllr Mark Child said people should bear in mind that climate change was why the seawall needed such a comprehensive upgrade.
Swansea University has been trialling various seawall tiles to encourage marine life to settle, and it is hoped that this will be incorporated in the final design.
Newton councillor Will Thomas, who is not a cabinet member but who has been briefed on the seawall project, welcomed the investment but wanted to know if the maintenance budget post-construction would be increased. He was told it would.
The report before cabinet said the Welsh Government had increased its 75% funding offer for the design phase of the scheme to 100%.
Speaking at a scrutiny meeting earlier this month, Stuart Davies, head of highways and transportation, said if all went to plan work on the seawall could start by the end of March next year.
Mumbles is the highest risk area for coastal flooding in Swansea.
A scheme to offer further protection for the riverside area by Sainsbury’s, Quay Parade, could be explored in the future.
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