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Work on £32 million flood defences to start this month

09 Nov 2023 4 minute read
Works to protect Aberaeron from flooding with a new coastal defence scheme have obtained Welsh Government funding of nearly £27m. Picture: Ceredigion County

Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter

Preliminary works on flood defences costing up to £32 million are expected to start in a Welsh town later this month, with a ‘meet the contractor’ drop-in session taking place next week.

In August, it was announced that works to protect Aberaeron from flooding with a new coastal defence scheme had obtained Welsh Government funding of nearly £27m.

The £31.59m Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme will be funded through a £26.85m contribution from the Welsh Government’s Coastal Risk Management Programme, together with a £4.74m contribution from Ceredigion County Council.

Flood walls

The scheme includes the construction of a rock breakwater extending out from North Pier, refurbishment and re-building of pier head of South Pier, construction of flood walls, construction of flood gate at Pwll Cam inner harbour and improvements to the existing defences on South Beach.

The scheme itself was approved at the February meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee, with BAM Nuttall Ltd the construction contractors.

A statement by BAM Nuttall Limited, shared by local county councillor Elizabeth Evans, read: “We’re preparing to start mobilisation in November with establishment of our compound. Works will then commence in various locations in December.

“Before we start, we want to speak to you to let you know more about the works and answer any questions you have.”

A public ‘Meet the Contractor’ event is taking place at County Hall, Market Street, Aberaeron on 15 November between 2pm-7pm.

BAM Nuttall Limited said the focus of the event will be on “having good conversations,” rather than a display of exhibition-style posters “encouraging people to chat with us about the work we are doing in the town”.

“We want the community to understand how the works could affect them and the steps we are taking to minimise disruption and inconvenience.

“We also want to listen to the concerns they may have.”

They added: “We want to minimise disruption and keep Aberaeron on the move. As with any major infrastructure project there will be a lot of construction activity taking place around the town during the course of the project.

“We have thought a lot about how to minimise disruption, but it is inevitable that we will have some impact on travel in the town. We want to make sure that Aberaeron residents and businesses know what’s going on.”

Aberaeron and Aberarth councillor Elizabeth Evans. Picture: Ceredigion County Council

Drop-in sessions

County Councillor for Aberaeron and Aberarth, Elizabeth Evans, said: “‘I would urge both residents of Aberaeron and local businesses to attend the ‘drop-in’ session so that they can gain a better understanding of the project, and to ask any questions.

“I know from past experience that these contractors are excellent at relationship building with communities; I therefore view this as the beginning of an 18-month relationship between Bam Nuttall, and Aberaeron.

“I think there is finally a sense of excitement in the town that this project, costing in excess of £30m, is finally going ahead.”

Works to protect Aberaeron from coastal flooding have previously included 2009 works at North Beach which had a significant benefit in protecting the north-western part of the town from overtopping flood risk from the sea, but only addressed part of the flood risk problem.

Storms in December 2013, January 2014 and October 2017 led to the closure of Quay Parade and overtopping of the current defences within the harbour and south beach.

BAM Nuttall Limited is encouraging residents to sign up for project updates, and to its e-newsletter, by emailing [email protected] or calling 07585 633 799.

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