The project’s development and planning has taken place in phases and focuses on:
- incorporating the main aims of the project in the project design
- consulting the community and other stakeholders
- addressing environmental impact
- securing funding to carry out the work
Aims of the Project
The Council identified an opportunity to combine improving vital coastal defences with contributing to wider, ongoing regeneration within the town. This means the project has three distinct aims:
- Provide improved coastal defences along the waterfront to protect the residents, businesses and infrastructure from the threat of the sea and climate change.
- Combine the improved sea defences with environmental improvements along the promenade in a coordinated approach to maximise the regeneration potential and provide the necessary level of coastal protection.
- Provide environmental regeneration improvements to the promenade to offer modern, robust, sustainable and attractive public spaces for local residents and to draw new visitors to the area.
We have carried out extensive consultation regarding the plans for the waterfront since 2010. Consultation events and information days give officers the opportunity to get feedback and comment from a wide range of the community, as well as giving information on future plans for the scheme.
Information and plans for proposed future work are available on our website and at the library. We publicise these consultations in the local press and on our social media.
Before we begin any work, we consult with internal and external individuals and organisations to make sure the work has little or no impact on the environment, including existing vegetation, wildlife and watercourses. If a potential impact is recognised, we work with these parties to mitigate these impacts as much as possible.
At the very beginning of the project in 2010, we carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment on the entire area included within the scope of the project. This looked at things such as Marine Ecology, Cultural Heritage, Coastal Processes and what impact the Waterfront Project may have on them. This meant that we could address any potential negative impacts or concerns raised before any work started on site. We reviewed and updated this in 2013 to make sure there had been no major changes since the original assessment.
During design and construction, we identify environmentally friendly and sustainable materials and use them wherever practical. The methods we use for construction are also influenced by environmental considerations. For example, on the Phase 1b Promenade Enhancement works, the old seawall was crushed and used as in-fill under the new promenade. As well as reducing cost, this prevented a substantial amount of site ‘waste’ being sent to landfill.
The measures we implemented as part of the design and construction process are assessed by internationally recognised standards. The Phase 1a works, which included building the rock groyne at Porth Eirias and the platform the building was constructed on, was awarded a CEEQUAL rating of ‘Very Good’. The Phase 1b works received a rating of ‘Excellent’.
Porth Eirias was awarded a BREEAM rating ‘Excellent’. This rating acknowledges the standards achieved in sustainable building design, construction and operation. As well as demonstrating that industry best practice has been used, this acknowledges that the design, build and construction have gone over and above the mandatory regulations in place.
You can find more information about CEEQUAL and BREEAM at:
Because the project includes Coastal Defence and Environmental Improvement works, we have been able to draw funds from various sources. The coastal defence aspects of the scheme have benefitted from an annual budget set aside by Welsh Government for coastal defence projects throughout Wales.
The Environmental Improvement works have been primarily funded by the European Regional Development Fund, targeted at areas in most need of sustained investment to help trigger long term regeneration.
Both elements of the scheme have also received funding from Conwy County Borough Council.