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Coastal Defence Improvements at Llanfairfechan

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Conwy County Borough Council are seeking funding from the Welsh Government to improve the coastal flood defences around the county coastline to face the challenge of climate change and future sea level rise.

Llanfairfechan is one location where we’ve identified schemes that could attract funding to reduce the coastal flood risk and improve amenity access onto the foreshore.

What’s the problem?

The existing coastal defences in Llanfairfechan consist of a combination of sea defence walls with rock armour in places and sand and shingle beaches with timber groynes.

Currently, waves frequently come over the top of the primary defences (known as ‘overtopping’). This has led to nearby properties and local infrastructure being flooded in the past.

A secondary flood defence wall along by the road, constructed in 2012, has gone some way to reducing the impact of flooding from wave overtopping. However, there is still a significant risk of coastal flooding, shown by recent events, hydraulic modelling, and a wave overtopping assessment. This risk is expected to increase as we see the effects of climate change - particularly increased average sea levels.

What are the plans for Llanfairfechan?

Coastal defences

Our public consultation in 2018 showed strong community support to increase the height of the seawall.

We are proposing to increase the height of the existing wall along the 725m stretch. This would involve adding between 200mm and 500mm of new wall on top of the existing sea wall.

This would improve the level of flood protection to reduce flood damages to residential and business properties.

The main focus of the scheme is improving the defences, but we would also like to provide other benefits if possible. This includes improving the promenade car park.

Public space – car park improvements

We will be resurfacing and amending the layout of the existing car park and also:

  • improving the drainage
  • installing EV charging points
  • adding18 grasscrete car park spaces in the overflow section


We registered two planning applications in February 2024, for the coastal defences and the car park.

View the planning application and submit comments

Please search for application number 0/51422 (coastal defences) and 0/51419 (car parking)

Public drop in: Wednesday 20 March 2024 - 2.30pm to 6.00pm

Llanfairfechan Community Hall,
Village Road,
LL33 0AB

How will the scheme make a difference?

Height is the most important factor in reducing flood risk from high water levels. We carried out geotechnical and structural surveys in 2023 to find out whether the existing defences are stable enough to allow us to build on top. This means we could raise the height without having to demolish and replace the entire defence.

Is there funding?

We do not yet have funding for the construction work for the sea wall, only for the design work. We have applied to Welsh Government for 85% match funding through the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management programme for 2024/25. The remaining 15% coming will come from Conwy County Borough Council funds.

The car park improvements are being funded through the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund, Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Transformation Fund and Council capital funding. We expect that the improved car park will have car parking charges, which will contribute towards the cost.


What about access to the beach?

There is access to Llanfairfechan beach all year, including throughout the winter via the Sailing Club slipway, which is only closed off by floodgates when a storm or particularly high tide is due. This access would not change under the proposals.

When is the work happening?

We cannot start work on the coastal defences until we have secured funding. If we are successful in getting the coastal defence funding, this work could start early summer 2024.

The work is likely to take 6 months in total.

If we do not get funding for the coastal defence work, we will still improve the car park in 2024.

The Cob

A section of sea wall along the Cob at Llanfairfechan was breached during a storm on 5 October 2021. This sea wall is not owned by the Council, but a public right of way is located behind the breached section.

On 23 November 2021, the Cabinet approved carrying out emergency rock armour repairs at an estimated cost of £275,000 for the failed section, with an attempt to recover costs subject to identifying the landowner.

There was further damage caused by storms in late November and December and we carried out additional structural assessments and surveys.

Protection work started in March 2022 to install rock armour at the Cob, where the sea wall has collapsed due to storm damage.

The second phase of work in September 2022 extended and completed the rock armour. The accessible path was also reinstated.


Flood Risk & Infrastructure Section

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