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 are the plans for Llanfairfechan?
We are working on detailed designs for proposed improvements to the coastal defences at Llanfairfechan. The proposal will include increasing the height and modifying the shape of the existing defences to improve the level of protection.
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.
There will be a public consultation on the proposals, expected in 2023.
Why are you considering changing the defences?
The current defences at Llanfairfechan provide some protection to the promenade and town against the risk of flooding from the sea. The frequency and severity of storms is expected to increase over the next 100 years, because of climate change. The defences need improving to increase their effectiveness and reduce the current and future risk to the town.
How will the scheme make a difference?
The improvements will target two of the key parts of the defences:
Height - This is the most important factor in reducing flood risk from high water levels. We will be carrying 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.
Shape - Sea spray and wave splashback significantly contribute to flood risk at Llanfairfechan. Some of the current defences are inefficiently shaped to deal with this issue. We are investigating whether including a ‘recurve’ to the existing vertical sections of wall could reduce the flood risk without obstructing the view.
- 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’ve carried out additional structural assessments and surveys.
- The Wales Coast Path has been closed for safety reasons because there is a risk of the path being further undermined by high tides.
- We have now created a temporary alternative route so the path can reopen. This includes some steps, so it is not suitable for wheelchair users.
- We are waiting for a marine licence to carry out protection work in the area. Once the work has been completed, the previous accessible footpath will be reinstated.
- Protection work starts in the first week of March to install rock armour at the Cob, where the sea wall has collapsed due to storm damage.
- The first phase of work will involve delivering rock armour to Station Road via Penmaenmawr Road. The rocks will then be taken to site via the allotment road. It is not possible to deliver the rock armour directly to site because of the height restrictions on the A55 bridge and railway bridge.
- Station Road car park will be used as a site compound in March and April. This means Station Road car park will be closed.
- This first phase will take around 7 weeks, with more work later in the year.
- The footpath to Glan Mor Elias will be closed while the work is going on.
Flood Risk & Infrastructure Section