News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

£27.5m Rhyl flood defence plans get the green light

Major flood defence works in Rhyl have moved a step closer, but councillors were warned more needed to be done about flooding in the county.

A £27.5m scheme to build up sea defences in the east of the town will go to members of the council in September for approval.

The works come after major flooding hit Rhyl in December 2013, which saw 140 properties near Garford Road evacuated.

The project will help protect around 1,650 homes in the area, as well as providing a defence against a “one in 200 year” storm.

The plans are for a defence 600 metres in length which will involve placing 128,000 tonnes of rock armour in front of a replacement sea defence wall.

Cabinet members meeting today in Ruthin voted unanimously to recommend the scheme to councillors for their approval when they meet next in September.

Tony Thomas, Rhyl East county councillor, whose neighbours were hit by the flooding, told his fellow cabinet members the defences were badly needed.

He said: “In December 2013, I saw 40 feet of land directly in front of me being washed away. The power of nature, you just can’t argue with.”

Council leader Cllr Hugh Evans said: “I visited the area in 2013 and saw the devastation and it is something that has stuck in my mind.

“We do have the option of doing nothing or doing something about it. We have a project here and it’s just a question of working out what the implications are because of the scale and it’s a long term commitment.”

The cost of the scheme is set to be £27.5m but, if the expense should rise over that, the project would have to come back before full council.

Denbighshire will have to pay for the scheme through its own borrowing with Welsh Government providing 75% of the funding over 25 years.

Cllr Barry Mellor, one of the members for the ward where the work will be carried out, felt that, despite the project for Rhyl, the council needed to do more to protect homes and businesses across the county from flooding.

He said: “I think this council has to be more proactive with flooding.

“We’ve had the warnings from the Welsh Government. We’ve got the maps showing right down the coast where there are problems not only from the sea but, if we get a bad lot of rain, we’ve got problems around the county.

“We need to have a small committee to look at the problems we have in terms of flooding.”

By Shane Brennan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

Image credit: Rhyl Floods – 19th July 2017 – Christopher Jones/YouTube

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