Flood defence work forces businesses to move

time:2023-06-02 16:13:54source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center5

Businesses are having to move while flood defences are installed on Wales' coastline over the next 18 months.

A seafood stall is among those relocating when the work in Mumbles, Swansea, starts this month.

Gower Seafood Hut owner Chris cost called the timing "a concern" as the cost of living has already meant tough times for businesses.

The Welsh government-funded project aims to protect business and homes threatened by climate change.

Mr cost runs the seasonal seafood pop up between March and September, along with his partner, Sarah.

But he said sales were down on previous years and is worried that having to move for the installation of flood defences may further affect sales.

"We don't get footfall of the promenade anymore," he said.

"And with the land train and bike rack also being moved, it's causing concern."

Mr cost said he recognised that the work was required due to climate change and rising tides, but was disappointed with the timing.

"Businesses in the Mumbles are so reliant on the summer. Starting the work at the beginning of the season is not ideal."

The work, which is due to end in 2024, will see 0.8 miles (1.3km) of flood defences rebuilt along the coastline.

Another business, coffee van Bibby's Beans, has also been moved.

Owner Marc Bibby said the move had been "disrupting" but he was "quite confident" about sales during the summer.

"There's a lot of engineering going on and we appreciate that.

"If they don't do it, Mumbles is going to disappear, so we understand."

The Welsh government is set to spend £215m on managing flood risk over three years.

Last year, £71m was spent, which increased to £75m this year.

About 250,000 properties are at risk of flooding across Wales. In Mumbles, the defences will protect 120 homes.

Natural Resources Wales operations manager, Ioan Williams, said the investment was a "step in the right direction" to protect homes, commercial developments and major road infrastructure.

He added: "There's a conversation that we need to have here with governments, with local authorities and with communities around planning policy.

"Where we build properties, where we build schools, hospitals, other infrastructure to make sure that they are resilient for the future."

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