Ceredigion County Council has successfully obtained funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Regional Development Fund to proceed with the first phase of the Borth to Ynyslas Coast Protection Scheme.
County Councillor Ray Quant the Cabinet Member with the Highways, Property & Works Portfolio and also the Local Member commented: “This is fantastic news for the Borth community after so much uncertainty over the years on the financial resources needed to deliver a quality new coastal defence scheme. On behalf of the community my sincere thanks to Jane Davidson AM, the Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing, for approving the scheme and the Welsh Assembly Government and EU Convergence Fund Team for their valuable funding commitment which enables the scheme to move forward. My thanks to all those who have played their part in bringing the scheme to the point where we can almost hear Bam Nuttall our contractor’s busy working on site. Whilst it has been a team effort, I must thank the small Ceredigion County Council coastal protection team within the Highways, Property & Works Department for their patience and perseverance since 2001.”
The Phase 1 works which will provide protection against a 1 in 100 year event to the southern 1.2km of the village will involve the construction of two rock breakwaters, two rock groynes, a near shore multi-purpose reef and shingle nourishment of the beach.
Significant consultation and dialogue with the Community has been undertaken by both Ceredigion County Council and Royal Haskoning as design consultants over the last 10 years, and the scheme as designed will provide the necessary level of coast protection whilst acknowledging the desire of the Community to protect and enhance the open aspect of the beach at the southern end of the village.
In addition, the designers have sought to ensure that any environmental concerns have been fully investigated through numerous beach and environmental surveys, and further ensured that the final design fulfils the required coast protection function through considerable computational modelling, which was subsequently confirmed by physical modelling at the hydraulics research laboratories at H. R. Wallingford
Alice Johnson, Coastal and Rivers Engineer, Royal Haskoning, said “Royal Haskoning is highly experienced in constructing coastal defences and prides itself on its sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach to coastal management. We have worked with Ceredigion County Council to create a practical solution to ensure the protection of Borth’s coastline”
The scheme, which has received the necessary planning consent for the onshore works, and Food and Environmental Protection Act consent for works below mean high water, was presented to the Community at an exhibition in June 2010 and was overwhelmingly accepted by the numerous residents who attended during the two days over which the exhibition was held.
It is estimated that the Phase 1 works will cost of the order of £12m in addition to the advanced timber breastworks nearing completion undertaken by the Council’s Partnership and Operations Group
The contractor appointed to undertake the main works is BAM Nuttall, who successfully completed the Aberaeron North Beach Coast Protection Scheme in late 2009.
Colin Pryce, Divisional Director, BAM Nuttall said “We are delighted to be working with Ceredigion County Council as main contractor on this project. The provision of adequate sea defences against the effects of climate change will bring comfort to the local community that their homes will be protected and we are pleased to be able to play such a pivotal role in helping to achieve this”
Works will be commencing in early January 2011 with a programmed completion in September 2011.
A public information event is planned for 12th & 13th January 2011, to be held at Borth Community Hall, which will involve a drop-in public exhibition during the afternoon and early evening, with a public meeting arranged for 7.00pm on the 12th
This event will provide residents and interested parties with an opportunity to meet and question the contractor’s site representatives who will be responsible for the construction of the scheme, together with representatives from Ceredigion County Council, Royal Haskoning and Atkins who between them will be supervising and monitoring different aspects of the works.
The proposed works have been designed to address the draft recommendations of the Shoreline Management Plan in respect of the Borth frontage (due to be consulted on during 2011), which has identified the need to manage the seafront whilst building in resilience within the coastal system.
As a result, the works will defend the village against a 1 in 100 year event, but this standard of protection will reduce in the long term with anticipated future climate change and sea level rise. This means that there remains a need for early planning and adequate provision for the relocation of property and infrastructure, and a gradual change in property and land usage.
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