PREPARATIONS are underway for the start of work on a new £6.4m scheme that will defend Porthcawl from flooding and any potential future rise in sea levels.
The new flood defence scheme follows a recent successful £3m project that replaced ageing sea defences at Town Beach and ensured that 260 homes, businesses and historic buildings such as the Grand Pavilion can continue to be protected.
With the first phase of the scheme set to focus on the iconic Western Breakwater, construction specialists Knights Brown are in the process of setting up a compound on land at Salt Lake in readiness for the work to begin next month.
Built in the 1820s and extended in the 1860s, the Western Breakwater has become world-famous in recent years thanks to dramatic photographs of the huge waves which crash over it during storms, high tides and severe weather.
The internal structure of the breakwater still features its original wooden core and needs extensive renovation and refurbishment to ensure that it can continue to stand up to the tides and tough maritime weather conditions.
As part of a second phase which will run concurrently with the first, Knights Brown will focus on upgrading the Eastern Promenade, which was also originally built in the 1860s, and will create improved flood defences between Porthcawl Marina and Coney Beach.
The work will then extend into Sandy Bay and as far as Rhych Point, where flood defences and dune protection works will be upgraded.
The work has been jointly funded by the Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council as part of the Coastal Risk Management Programme.
Janine Nightingale, Director of Communities said:
”This project represents a significant £6.4m investment into Porthcawl that will keep more than 500 homes and over 170 businesses safe from the risk of flooding.
It forms a vital part of the infrastructure for defending the town against flooding, and will also help to secure future development in the Salt Lake area of Porthcawl.
As well as protecting commercial and residential properties, the new sea defence works are a vital part of our regeneration plans for the town, and will protect assets and infrastructure worth millions of pounds”.
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