£20m beach defence plans for Llandudno 'queen of resorts'

North Shore - Llandudno
Image caption Llandudno's North Shore today - campaigners want to see fewer rocks - and more sand

Up to £20m could be spent improving flood defences on two beaches at a north Wales seaside resort.

Proposals for Llandudno could also see new sand beaches return to the town's North Shore.

Climate change models suggest the sea around the Great Orme headland could rise by 700mm (2.5ft) over a century.

Engineers at Conwy council said much of the town would then be at risk of severe flooding - unless action is taken.

"Basically, Llandudno is a bowl and the sea defences are its rim - if they fail, the town is flooded," said Conwy's flood risk manager, Owen Conry.

"We need to mitigate that flood risk."

The latest plans for new coastal flood defences have been unveiled at an exhibition in the town, which prides itself on its Victorian heritage, earning it the name "queen of resorts".

Image copyright Conwy council
Image caption If climate change models are correct, without action severe flooding could become a regular event

The new developments at both North and West Shore have been championed by the Llandudno Coastal Forum, which has brought together residents, businesses, tourism chiefs and the county council.

It was formed in 2014 in response to a public outcry over sea defences on North Shore, when thousands of tonnes of rocks were placed on the beach to protect the hotel-lined seafront from waves.

Options for North Shore being put forward include raising the rear promenade wall by about 400mm (16in), and replacing the cobbles from "Children's Corner" to Vaughan Street with sand.

Structures known as groynes, which are timber or rock walls to help prevent beach erosion, could also be installed. If that happened, it could also allow more sand to be placed on the beach to enhance its appearance.

But the bill for the improvements could be from £14m up to £17m.

Image caption West Shore needs repairs and its seawall raised

On Llandudno's West Shore, which is already at an increased risk of flooding, the sea defence wall could be repaired and raised.

An option to introduce a raised walkway and cycle path is also being considered.

The combined West Shore scheme would cost about £2.4m.

Alison Shields, who represents the Restore Our Beach group on the coastal forum, said the plans could help revitalise the beach environment in the town.

"We want to see a beach where people can take their families, that's safe and is an effective coastal defence as well," she said.

"We have to do something - for the town."

The latest plans are on public display on Saturday in the town's Victoria centre, as part of a consultation exercise.

If backed, a business case for flood defence funding will be made later in the year to the Welsh Government.

Image caption The public are being urged to give their opinion on the beach flood defence plans

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