Proposed flood defence scheme for Porthcawl moves a step closer thanks to Welsh Government funding

Thanks to Welsh Government funding, proposals for a new coastal flood defence scheme in Porthcawl remain on track and can progress to the next stage.

The proposed flood defence scheme will see major work undertaken on the Western Breakwater, Eastern Promenade and Sandy Bay areas of the town and will protect more than 500 homes and over 170 businesses in the town.

This scheme which is estimated to be around £6m is being led by Bridgend County Borough Council.

Bridgend MS Carwyn Jones has welcomed the news that an application by Bridgend Council earlier this year to the Welsh Government for the work, has now received approval to begin the tender process to gain firm costs for the scheme.

The upgrade work is needed as results from a recent study have shown that the Eastern Promenade sea wall and Western Breakwater structures are deteriorating and becoming more susceptible to overtopping.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “I am very pleased to note that this important work is developing, and that we have been able to approve the next phase in the development of the scheme.

“As a government, we want to make it as easy as possible for local authorities to progress with and plan for works such as these, which is why earlier this year we increased the funding available through our Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programmes.

“All preparatory work for schemes is now funded 100 per cent by Welsh Government, while our contribution towards coastal schemes has increased from 75 per cent to 85 per cent. This will allow hard-pressed local authorities to be more pro-active when planning future flood defences, against the backdrop of the February storms and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I look forward to receiving an application for the funding of flood defence construction work once this tender has concluded.”

Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, Cllr Charles Smith, said : “The ongoing commitment is excellent news for Porthcawl and the county borough, and will enable us now to crack on with the regeneration plans for the town. This ongoing protection will provide assurance to the community and all who continue to live, work, visit and invest in the area.

“If the structures were to fail, a retreat of the shoreline position throughout Sandy Bay would be expected. It would also result in up to 531 residential and 175 non-residential properties being at flood risk.”

Mr Jones said “It is very good news that this upgrade work of the sea defences can progress to the next stage so that more of the town’s assets and infrastructure including both the commercial businesses and the properties within the Jennings building will be protected. Last autumn, a new flood defence scheme was opened at Porthcawl Town Beach which now affords protection to 260 homes, businesses and historic buildings such as the Grand Pavilion. I look forward to seeing the scheme progress so that Porthcawl can remain a safe, viable and attractive place to live, work in and to visit and provide much stronger flood protection for years to come.”