MULTI-MILLION pound plans to boost Aberaeron’s sea defences in a bid to protect homes and businesses from flooding have been recommended for approval by planners.

On Wednesday, Ceredigion council’s Development Management Committee will consider the application 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.

The long-mooted plans have been recommended for approval by council planners.

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.

A planning report set to be put before members says: “The town unfortunately has a long history of flooding.

“Low-lying areas of Aberaeron are at risk of flooding generated by extreme tidal waters and wave overtopping the harbour, and areas to the rear of South Beach are at risk of flooding from beach erosion.

“The existing piers at the mouth of the harbour offer little protection from these large waves, due to their age and due to the changes to the coastline which has occurred since they were originally built.

“The south pier is also in a significant state of disrepair and at risk of imminent collapse, with its loss potentially dramatically increasing the risk of flooding.”

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.

“Overall, the scheme will provide Aberaeron with greater protection from flooding by reducing flood risk from overtopping of water over the defences,” documents outline.

“It will also reduce erosion on South Beach, creating a significant beneficial impact.

“Safeguarding of the town from flooding will also have benefits for socio-economics, human health, and recreation and tourism.

“Since the completion of the 2009 coastal defence works at North Beach, the town has nevertheless continued to experience significant flooding.

“The scheme put forward therefore seeks to address the remaining extents of coastal flood risk around the harbour and south beach areas, which is expected to worsen over time due to climate change and predicted rises in sea-level.

“Alternative scheme options have been considered including more minimal repairs, however these options were dismissed as they were found not to produce the required standard of protection.”