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Aberaeron’s £32m coastal defence scheme underway

Works on Aberaeron’s near-£32m coastal defence scheme are underway (Pic: Local Democracy Reporting Service)

WORKS on Aberaeron’s near-£32m coastal defence scheme are underway, with the unloading of rock brought from Norway by barge to the town’s South Beach.

Last 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 is 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 2023 meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee, with BAM Nuttall Ltd the construction contractors.

In February of this year, minor changes to the scheme were backed by county planners, which will see a simpler barrier design following public concerns.

Aberaeron’s wooden pedestrian bridge over the river Aeron could be closed as long as a year BAM has previously said.

BAM Nuttall stated: “Significant construction works will shortly be commencing along the northern banks of the River Aeron within Aberaeron as part of the £31m coastal defence scheme, and as a result, public access to some areas will need to be limited in the interests of Health & Safety.

“This will mean that the wooden footbridge will need to be closed whilst the works are being undertaken.

“Every effort is being made to minimise the impact on residents and visitors whilst the works are ongoing, and access will be reinstated as and when it is considered safe to do so.”

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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.