Aerial shot of Barmouth (Image: Network Rail)

UK - One of North Wales's most popular beach resorts needs sea defence work over 'failure' concern

Barmouth's current defences are in a poor condition and need to be upgraded

A seaside town's sea defences are in need of an upgrade according to a report. The existing defences at the North Promenade in Barmouth are in a "poor condition" say engineering consultancy YGC.

They've been commissioned to rectify this with works along a 1.2km stretch of coastline. The firm has submitted a screening opinion to Cyngor Gwynedd ahead of a future application.

It proposes a list of works to ensure the resort remains protected for many years to come. Barmouth is up the road from Fairbourne, whose future is at risk from rising sea waters.

The proposals for Barmouth's North Promenade include:

• The secondary, or alternative primary wall to be re-built structurally and increased by 600m over a length of 1.2km.

• Tertiary flood wall to be re-built structurally and increased by 450mm over a length of 1.1km.

• 300m of rock toe armour to be provided to protect the primary sea wall and revetment, at the north end of the scheme. Remainder of the primary defences to be protected by 560m of shingle beach nourishment.

• 515m of existing sheet piles, starting from northern end of the scheme to be refurbished. The total length of the scheme is estimated to be in the region of 1.2km in length.

The screening process determines whether or not the development is likely to have significant effects on the environment, for which an Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) would be required.

YGC said: "The existing defences at North Prom, Barmouth are of poor condition. Should beach drawdown continue, then structural failure is increasingly a concern.

"Part of the promenade failed due to unsafe voiding beneath the promenade slab, requiring emergency stabilising repairs in 2020 and 2021. The repair works were emergency measures to extend the life of the existing structures until the preferred option is implemented.

"Beach levels decrease and defences deteriorate in condition toward the north of the study area. Studies conclude that overall foreshore bed levels along North Promenade are lowering and this lowering is expected to continue."

They added: "YGC, on behalf of Gwynedd Council, are developing a project to improve the flood defences at the North Promenade region in Barmouth, Gwynedd. The work will primarily involve betterment of existing defences. This option includes increasing the height of the secondary (noted in drawings as alternative primary wall)and tertiary walls, refurbishing existing sheet piles, additional rock toe armour, and build out of shingle beach profile."

Planners at the local authority will now determine is an EIA is required. YGC said it was "highly likely" an EIA was needed.

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