ABERAERON’S inner harbour is now looking very empty, with moorings being cleared ahead of the start of the town’s near-£32m flood defences works, due to start early next month.
Aberaeron Yacht Club shared a message from the Ceredigion Harbour Manager: “We would like to inform you that the Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme works are scheduled to commence in early December.
“The contractors have requested that all Pwll Cam (Inner Harbour) moorings be vacated to allow access for machinery and works, which will ultimately bring significant benefits to the area.
“Therefore, we kindly direct all vessel owners not to use, enter or moor in Pwll Cam after November 30.
“Pwll Cam will be closed from January onwards until further notice. During this period, affected harbour users may utilize other areas of the Harbour Estate, but they must discuss any arrangements with the harbour manager.
“The Harbour Authority is committed to keeping all harbour users updated on the progress of the scheme.”
Back in August, it was announced that works to protect Aberaeron from flooding with a new coastal defence scheme had obtained Welsh Government funding of nearly £27m.
The £31.59m Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme are funded through a £26.85m contribution from the Welsh Government’s Coastal Risk Management Programme, together with a £4.74m contribution from Ceredigion County Council.
The scheme includes the construction of a rock breakwater extending out from North Pier, refurbishment and re-building of pier head of South Pier, construction of flood walls, construction of flood gate at Pwll Cam inner harbour and improvements to the existing defences on South Beach.
The scheme itself was approved at the February meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee, with BAM Nuttall Ltd the construction contractors.
A statement by BAM Nuttall Limited ahead of the start of works, recently shared by County Councillor for Aberaeron and Aberarth Elizabeth Evans, read: “We want to minimise disruption and keep Aberaeron on the move.
“As with any major infrastructure project there will be a lot of construction activity taking place around the town during the course of the project.
“We have thought a lot about how to minimise disruption, but it is inevitable that we will have some impact on travel in the town.”
Cllr Evans said: “I know from past experience that these contractors are excellent at relationship building with communities; I therefore view this as the beginning of an 18-month relationship between Bam Nuttall, and Aberaeron.
“I think there is finally a sense of excitement in the town that this project, costing in excess of £30m, is finally going ahead.”
Works to protect Aberaeron from coastal flooding have previously included 2009 works at North Beach which had a significant benefit in protecting the north-western part of the town from overtopping flood risk from the sea, but only addressed part of the flood risk problem.
Storms in December 2013, January 2014 and October 2017 led to the closure of Quay Parade and overtopping of the current defences within the harbour and south beach.