'Desperately needed' Rhyl flood defences backed

Flooding in Rhyl
Image caption Rhyl was one of the worst-hit areas in the 2013 winter storms

A £27.5m flood defence plan for Rhyl seafront has been backed by Denbighshire council's cabinet.

The scheme to build up a 600-metre stretch of sea defences is expected to protect 1,650 homes in the east of the town.

More than 400 people were evacuated from their homes in the area during "devastating" flooding in 2013.

The cabinet recommendation will go before the full council in September for approval.

Councillor Tony Thomas said: "It's something that the area desperately needs.

"The floods six years ago were a bad time, it was devastating and it could still happen again."

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Media captionHomes and cars were underwater in Rhyl

A report to the cabinet said the 2013 storm had been a "stark reminder" of the vulnerability of the coastal defences and those living in the area.

It also said investigations showed the protection was currently below what would be considered acceptable for a highly populated area.

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

If approved, work would begin in April 2020 and would be expected to be completed by 2023.

Image caption The plans would place 128,000 tonnes of rock armour in front of a replacement sea defence wall

However, Barry Mellor, who represents the ward where the work will be carried out, warned more needs to be done about flooding across the county.

He said: "This council has to be more proactive with flooding. We've had the warnings.

"We've got the maps showing 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."

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