Press Release Western Mail 14th August 2010
Please note the headline figures need further explanation.
700 tonnes of sand. Two options are being considered which are sand and rock. £7m cost of creating reef. The £7m is the European/Welsh Assembly grant funding towards Phase 1 of the scheme which includes a reef, onshore breakwaters, groynes and shingle re-nourishment. 300m length of proposed reef. The reef will be approx 300 metres off shore and approx 180 metres in length.
Surfer reef plan for Welsh resort moves a step closer
Aug 14 2010 by Rachael Misstear, Western Mail
Part-Funding Secured For Coast Protection Scheme
PLANS to build an artificial reef to attract surfers and protect the West Wales coast are a step closer.
The reef – which would stretch for up to 300 metres off the coast at Borth, near Aberystwyth – is part of a £22m coastal protection plan.
The plans still need to be approved by Ceredigion Council’s cabinet but part-funding has already been secured from the Assembly Government.
The £7m man-made barrier reef would be made up of hundreds of bags of sand and would break the waves before they reached the shore.
Experts believe the defence will also provide excellent conditions for surfers who would help boost the local economy.
Mick Newman, of consultants Royal Haskoning, said New Zealand company Artificial Surfing Reefs had been sub-contracted to discover whether it was feasible to build a reef at Borth.
“The reef will be constructed near the Craig y Delyn cliffs to the south of Borth and will generate a wider beach inshore, which will act as the coast protection component,” he said. “It will be submerged at high tide and will influence the waves passing over it to improve surfing conditions.” The prospect of better surfing conditions in West Wales comes just months after a similar scheme in Bournemouth was branded a flop by tourism bosses and surfers.
The much-hyped reef opened in November, 12 months late and £1.3m over budget. But surfers are not using the reef and local businesses, who hoped it would attract large numbers, have been disappointed.
Borth councillor Ray Quant said although the Ceredigion reef would improve a surf amenity, its main aim is to protect the coastline. And he said the research behind the reef was more in depth and technical than that in Bournemouth.
“The design is totally different,” he said. “It is well-known there have been problems there, which I have discussed with the sub-contractors.
“There has been a great deal of engineering work to test how the reef will work in Borth and the experts are confident it will be hugely successful.
“Borth’s main sea defence is the shingle bank and the reef would re-align the waves so they travel directly up the shore and stop shingle drifting northwards and away from the village’s coast.”
An Assembly Government said spokeswoman said it is committed to managing the growing risk of flooding and coastal erosion within Wales
“We understand Ceredigion Council’s proposed coastal defence scheme to reduce flooding and coastal erosion risk in Borth includes a multi-purpose reef,” she added.
“The scheme has secured £3.4m European Convergence funding to date and we anticipate the council will apply for grant support to match that if and when the appropriate consents are in place.”
A spokesman for Ceredigion Council added: “A considerable amount of work remains outstanding before construction works can commence on site and planning approval together with Food and Environmental Protection Act consent is required before consent for the scheme is granted by the Assembly Government.”
If approved, it is expected work would start by the end of September.
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