About the Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme

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The town of Prestatyn in Denbighshire is protected from coastal flooding by defences along the waterfront. 

Due to the age and condition of these defences they no longer provide an adequate level of protection. Within the next 50 years, rising sea levels and bigger storms caused by climate change will result in waves overwhelming the defences more often.

Without improvements to the sea defences, the risk of coastal flooding faced by homes and businesses in Prestatyn is likely to increase in future.

Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme: Location plan and map

Flood risk map

This map shows the extent of possible flooding in 2038 and highlights the flood-risk to properties if coastal defence improvements do not take place.

About the scheme

The Central Prestatyn coastal defence scheme focuses on the area of most immediate concern, adjacent to Rhyl Golf Club:

Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme: Site location

Download: Site location map (JPEG, 1MB)

The age and condition of some of sea defences that protect Prestatyn from coastal flooding mean it's possible that the defences will be eroded and undermined, and eventually fail. In addition to this, rising sea levels and bigger storms caused by climate change will result in waves overwhelming the defences more often.

Without improvements to the sea defences, the risk of coastal flooding faced by homes and businesses in Prestatyn is likely to increase in future.

Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme: Location plan

  • The existing coastal defences in this section are about 70 years old and in particularly poor condition. Coastal defences generally have a design life of 100 years so are very likely to be breached unless significant works are undertaken in the next 30 years.
  • If the existing defences fail in this location, the flood risk to over 2,000 properties in the Prestatyn area will increase significantly. This is because low land elevations in the area behind the defences will allow any flood water to spread and flood a wide area.


A wide range of options were considered for reducing the flood risk. These fell into two categories:

Source options

  • Philosophy: Prevent flood water from exceeding the front line of defence. Hold the sea back.
  • Examples: Beach recharge, breakwaters, sea walls.

Impact options

  • Philosophy: Reduce the impact of overtopped water by preventing it reaching people, property and infrastructure. Control the flood water if it comes over the defences.
  • Examples: Set back walls, embankments, property flood resilience.

An appraisal was carried out to work out the best options. The best solutions for each category were as follows:

Source option

  • Solution: A new sea wall and rock armour revetment (similar to the East Rhyl Coastal Defence scheme).
  • Indicative cost: £50 million

Impact option

  • Solution: Earth embankment that is set back from the front-line defences, following the boundary of the golf course (Flood water coming over the defences during a storm would be contained within the golf course until it can discharge back to sea)
  • Indicative cost: £25 million

Preferred option

As well as the cost of the two options, the appraisal also considered social and environmental impacts, including recreation and tourism, local businesses, biodiversity, visual impact, heritage, carbon footprint.

The 'Source Option' provides recreation and tourism benefits, but comes at a much higher cost and has a greater negative impact on the environment including higher carbon emissions associated with its construction and full promenade closure with restricted beach access in the immediate location for the duration. This option cannot be justified.

The 'Impact Option' of a set back earth embankment is the better option.

Building a set-back embankment is a cost-effective way of protecting homes and businesses from flooding while minimising the impact on the environment.

Computer generated images of the proposals are shown on the Gallery page. These are updated visualisations from a range of viewpoints to illustrate the developed design.

Progress to date

Progress reports are now available in the Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme newsletter.

December 2022

Funding has been granted.

November 2022

On 11th November 2022, a second public meeting was held at Rhyl Golf Club. This was to recap residents of the schemes proposed plans and an opportunity for the residents to ask any questions.

July 2022

Planning was approved for the scheme in July 2022.

The planning application was submitted to Denbighshire County Council and is available to view online. The application reference is 45/2021/1248.

December 2021

A question and answer event took place on 13 December at Rhyl Golf Club for residents and stakeholders regarding the scheme ahead of the planning application submission.

The planning application was submitted to Denbighshire County Council on 16 December, having been adapted (where possible) based on responses from the Pre-Application Consultation period.

October and November 2021

The scheme entered its 28-day pre-application consultation period in accordance with Schedule 1B - Article 2C and Schedule 1C - Article 2D of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012 (as amended).

This enabled the public to view and comment on the planning application before it was submitted for the scheme. These comments have been considered in the final design for formal submission of the planning application.

July 2021

Balfour Beatty have developed the proposed methodology for constructing the scheme.

January 2021 - July 2021

JBA Consulting have been developing the detailed design for the scheme to allow details such as the exact location, height and width of the proposed set-back embankment to be finalised.

Further environmental assessments and surveys have also been carried out.

December 2020

  • Denbighshire County Council planning department are consulted regarding the environmental assessments that will be required for a future planning application
  • Environmental, archaeological and geotechnical investigations are undertaken on Rhyl Golf Club

August 2020

JBA Consulting were appointed to complete the detailed design for the scheme and assess the social and environmental impact.

January 2020

The Welsh Government approved the Outline Business Case. Following this, Denbighshire County Council apply for and are granted more funding to enable the preferred option to be further developed.

May 2019

An Outline Business Case for the scheme was completed which assessed the risk of flooding and erosion and presented the preferred option.

July 2018

Balfour Beatty was appointed by Denbighshire County Council to develop a business case for the scheme, to allow access to funding from the Welsh Government's Coastal Risk Management Programme.

What will happen next

Construction will start early 2023 and will take approximately 3 to 3 and a half years.

Should you have comments relating to the planning application, these should be directed to Denbighshire County Council's Planning Department.

Construction Stages

There is soft ground beneath the site, which means the construction needs to take place in stages, which will involve stand-down periods of approximately 9 months between the construction stages. The settlement of the ground will be monitored throughout the stand-down periods. Depending on the results, this may lead to a change in the number of construction stages or the length of the stand-down periods. Overall project duration is expected to take approximately three to three and a half years.

Stage 1 February 2023 to September 2023 (Rhyl Golf Course closed)

  • Mobilisation
  • Natural Resource Wales culvert protection
  • Embankment Works
  • Beach Works

Stage 2 June 2024 to October 2024 (Rhyl Golf Course open)

Embankment Works

Stage 3 - July 2025 to December 2025 (Rhyl Golf Course open)

  • Embankment Works
  • Footpath construction

The Golf Course clubhouse will remain closed for the duration of the scheme. The parcel of land to the end of Garford Road will be utilised by the Golf Course throughout the duration of the scheme for access to the Golf Course. The management of the existing floodgate will continue with ongoing liaison between Balfour Beatty, Denbighshire County Council and Rhyl Golf Course throughout.

Where possible, existing footpaths will be maintained during the stand-down period.

Balfour Beatty’s normal working hours on the promenade will be Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 18:00. Saturdays would only be by prior agreement with the Council. Works on the beach would follow irregular working hours to suit the daily tide times.

The main compound will be situated within the existing Golf Course car park. A number of temporary site access points will be installed on Rhyl Coast road and from within the Golf Course car park.

Two construction routes will be in use to supply the required materials during the scheme’s development. These are:

  • From the A55 following the A525, entering the scheme area from the west
  • Via the A548 from the east

Promenade closures

  • Phase 1: The promenade will be closed from April 2023 through to September 2023 from the area opposite Garford Road through to the area opposite Green Lanes
  • Phase 2: The promenade will be closed from September 2024 through to December 2024 from the area opposite Garford Road through to the area opposite Green Lanes

All beach accesses will be re-routed to the nearest accessible paths which will be agreed with Denbighshire County Council.




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