During the severe storms early last year, the A487 at Newgale was closed for several days after shingle was washed onto the road.
A recent report commissioned by Pembrokeshire County Council concluded that the shingle bank will become increasing unstable and vulnerable to failure, with a timescale of 10-20 years over which the current situation may become unsustainable.
The Council therefore instigated a public meeting to discuss the future of the shingle bank at Newgale, which was held at Solva Memorial Hall on 18th February.
This discussed the stability of the shingle bank and the consequences of any future failure and feedback was welcomed from the public.
A substantial amount of feedback has already been received, and the Council intends to summarise this and provide a public report on this reaction to date.
Darren Thomas, Head of Highways and Construction, at the Council said: “We have received a huge amount of constructive feedback in response to this initial invite for opinions as to the way forward at Newgale, and thank the public for their widespread and informative comments.
“The feedback includes comment on the importance of tourism as a key industry in Pembrokeshire and that the road through Newgale is an important link to the St David’s Peninsular, providing one of the iconic viewpoints of the Pembrokeshire coastline.
“As a response to a number of concerns, it is stressed the Council is not abandoning Newgale. The current shoreline policy identified for Newgale is one of Managed Realignment. This means that Pembrokeshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales, as the risk management authorities for coastal flood and erosion, will implement a managed way forward to minimise, as far as is possible, the impacts of change on the locality.”
He added that in order to manage any change, the Council would need to look at all the possible options, from retention of the status quo to the provision of a new road. Funding would also need to be secured, all requisite statutory consents obtained, and eventually any scheme procured and constructed.
The Cabinet Spokesperson for Environmental and Regulatory Services, Councillor Huw George, said: “Ongoing consultation will be a vital and important strand running through all this work.”
The Council have also had preliminary discussion with National Resources Wales and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Coastal flooding or fluvial flooding from a main river such as the Brandy Brook is the responsibility of Natural Resources Wales and so any scheme that affects the Brook will need to be undertaken in partnership with them.
Phillip Pickersgill, the Acting Head of Operations South west Wales, said: “The storms last year highlighted the risks to our coastline and the communities that live there. Indications are that climate change will increase these risks and we need to understand and manage them appropriately. We welcome the opportunity to work with Pembrokeshire County Council in helping communities adapt to this risk.”
Tegryn Jones, Chief Executive, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, said: “The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority welcomes the pro-active lead being taken by Pembrokeshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales to properly consider and address the changing coastline at Newgale.
“All relevant organisations need to work with local communities to ensure a long-term sustainable solution that takes account of the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Newgale and the St David’s Peninsula.”
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