About the Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme

Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme: Pre-application Consultation

The Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme has now entered its 28-day pre-application consultation period.

Jump straight to:

Overview

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)

At this stage, there is no certainty that the scheme will go ahead.

Further evidence of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the proposal is required, and Welsh Government match funding approval required. The scheme would also need planning permission which will be informed by a full public consultation.

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.

Options

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: Strengthening the existing front-line defences adjacent to the golf course (A new sea wall to hold the sea back and prevent coastal erosion)
  • 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. 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 early visualisations and further images and design drawings will be made available, from a range of viewpoints as part of the detailed consultation and planning application processes.

Progress to date

Although detailed design work and investigations are being carried out, this does not mean that the proposed set-back embankment will be built.

The decision about whether to go ahead with the construction of the scheme will not be made until there is further evidence of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the proposal, and Welsh Government and Council match funding is approved. The scheme would also need planning permission.

October 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 will be considered in the final design before the planning application is formally submitted.

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

The Council expects to be in a position to submit a planning application before the end of 2021. Subject to planning approval there would be a funding approval process in 2022 prior to construction starting Spring/Summer 2022.

JBA Consulting Balfour Beatty logo Welsh Government logo