Sea defences plea as councillor warns promenade could be shut
Crumbling sea defences could lead to the permanent closure of Old Colwyn promenade, a councillor has warned.
The 1.2km stretch of coastal defences from Porth Eirias to Cliff Gardens are described as “failing” in a report to councillors holding a special meeting about the issue on Tuesday.
The defences protect the promenade, Dŵr Cymru infrastructure, the coastal path as well as the North Wales rail line and the A55.
In the meeting councillors are set to approve plans for the council to call a summit with Dwr Cymru, Network Rail and the Welsh Government over the deteriorating defences.
The council wants money from the bodies responsible for this infrastructure to pay for repairs to the defences.
Currently the council spends between £30,000 to £40,000 per annum in reactive repairs to the railings, promenade surfacing, and to the wall to prevent sections of the defence and promenade from collapse.
But councillors have been warned this is not sustainable.
With the promenade having to shut for several days at a time when there are spring tides and high winds, there has been a warning that closure could become permanent.
Colwyn Cllr Cheryl Carlisle said: “I welcome this really comprehensive report laying out the options for Old Colwyn Promenade sea defences, which will be discussed next Tuesday. We really hope the meeting of all stakeholders suggested in the report takes place as soon as possible because the situation is getting more and more dire.
“The alternative will be that the promenade will have to be permanently closed for safety reasons, which is in no-one’s interests.”
Her fellow Colwyn county councillor, Brian Cossey, said: “We have repeatedly told the Welsh Government that the highly probable failure of Old Colwyn Promenade will take out main sewers, the railway line, and the A55, which will cause massive disruption for the residents of Old Colwyn, transport chaos and economic losses for Conwy and the rest of North Wales.”
Councillors at Tuesday’s meeting will be told that the cost of repairing the defences range from £2million for smaller repairs to about 400m of the wall to £36million for a full set of works on the whole stretch.
Cllr Greg Robbins, the cabinet member responsible for the environment and transportation, said: “The situation with the Old Colwyn sea defence is of the highest level of importance. Should these fail the implications to the transport links for North Wales are extremely significant. Conwy Council must use all avenues to obtain capital funding for this vital scheme.”
By Shane Brennan – Local Democracy Reporter
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