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£7.6M coastal defence scheme opened at Tywyn

Environment Minister Jane Davidson will today officially open Tywyn’s new Atkins-designed Tywyn Coastal Defence Scheme.

The £7.6M scheme provides protection along the 1.8km coastal frontage of the North Wales town of Tywyn, where more than 70 properties had been at risk of flooding, particularly during stormy weather.

Since the Victorians built the first sea wall and promenade, beach levels have reduced and flooding and damage from coastal storms has become more frequent and severe.

The Welsh Assembly Government provided funding of £4.1M and £3.5M came from the European Regional Development Fund. Construction began in 2009.

Atkins principal engineer Rob Morgan said: “Over the past 15 years, Gwynedd Council has considered a number of flood protection options and have sought suitable funding and looked for a scheme that was in-keeping with the character of the town’s Victorian promenade, which was constructed in the 1890s.

“Atkins designed this scheme to be sensitive to its character and heritage and to not cause any secondary impacts further along the coastline.”

The design involved the construction of a new large rock breakwater located above low tide level − designed to break waves and mitigate overtopping at the sea wall − rock groynes and a rock revetment to protect the town.

The scheme also included replacement of the timber groynes, a new concrete stepped revetment to the base of the Victorian promenade, sea wall repairs and other associated improvements.

Some 51,000t of rock was used for the defences, sourced locally from nearby Penmaenmawr and Minffordd as well as from St. Malo, Brittany.

Davidson said: “I am delighted to officially open this coastal defence scheme which will protect properties and support the town’s economy.

“If we are to adapt successfully to climate change, the way we manage our shores and rivers will be critical. Projects such as this do just that and help protect the local area, homes, businesses and jobs.

“Sustainable development is enshrined in all the Assembly Government does and I am delighted that this defence scheme has had minimal impact on key areas of Tywyn beach. At the same time it incorporates structures that can be adapted as impacts of climate change are realised.”

Gwynedd Council’s portfolio leader for consultancy (major construction projects) Arwel Pierce said: “This is a historic day for the Tywyn area. As a Council, we are delighted to see this long-awaited and important project completed for the benefit of local residents.

“New coastal defences are vitally important to protect homes and businesses − indeed we estimate that this project will reduce the risk of annual flooding for around 80 properties in the area, as well as guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the area’s important tourism industry.”

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