PLANS to protect scores of Aberaeron homes and businesses from flooding that will “save the town for the next 200 years” are finally set to go ahead after planning for a new coastal defence scheme was approved.

Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee gave the green-light for the Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme – which includes the construction of a rock breakwater extending out from North Pier, refurbishment and re-building of pier head of South Pier, construction of flood walls, construction of flood gate at Pwll Cam inner harbour and improvements to the existing defences on South Beach - on Wednesday, 8 February.

Aberaeron county councillor Elizabeth Evans said she was “absolutely delighted that this application for the defence of Aberaeron harbour has now received planning.”

“There were times in the last few years when I, and the whole of Aberaeron, were doubtful that these vital works would ever be realised,” she said.

“I want to thank everyone for their patience, including council officers who had to jump through so many statutory hoops to get to this stage, but we got there in the end.

“I cannot overstate the need for these defence works, which will have a huge positive impact on the residents and businesses of Aberaeron for generations to come.

“We continue to experience extreme weather events this will now protect the harbour area of Aberaeron, as the north beach sea defence works have done since 2010.

“It is not an understatement to say that the defence of the harbour will save Aberaeron for the next two hundred years.

“We have been extremely vulnerable in recent years and at times it has been very frightening.

“Residents can now look forward positively, and as for the economic prosperity of the town, it’s all very exciting.

“After so many years I am frankly very thankful and relieved that we can now proceed.”

Storms in 2013, 2014 and 2017 led to the closure of Quay Parade and overtopping of the current defences within the harbour and South Beach, and Ceredigion council said it was “committed to protecting the town” after launching a consultation on the plans in the 2020.

The council heard that it is predicted that 168 properties will be at risk of flooding in the town by 2111 if nothing is done.

Some preliminary and remedial work on a harbour coast defence scheme was started in early 2019 after a first tranche of sea defences, built at a cost of £5.35m, were completed in 2009.

The scheme, which has been mooted for several years, was delayed after an investigation of initial plans “identified additional work requiring further flood modelling requirements.”

The initial hope was for work to begin in 2020.

The scheme has already been granted a marine licence from Natural Resources Wales with hope that work can now begin soon.