Essential Website Maintenance – Thursday 9th January 2020

We will be carrying out essential website maintenance in the afternoon which will affect some functionality. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience the work may cause and will do all we can to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.

Coastal Protection

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Our coastal protection duties and Shoreline Management Plans.
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Conwy County is famous for its 73km long coastline, which draws visitors from around the world to a World Heritage Site, beautiful beaches and historic Victorian promenades.

The shoreline is not a fixed boundary.  Without human intervention with coastal protection, the location of the shoreline would constantly change due to tidal processes.

Conwy’s Duties and Strategies

We manage 23km of artificial sea defences (such as breakwaters, and sea walls) that protect Council-owned property.  These include the promenades at Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr.

The Council has powers to order or carry out coastal protection works under the Coast Protection Act 1949.  There is no obligation under this legislation for the Council to carry out any works.

In Britain, every length of coastline has been analysed, with a decision to 'do nothing', 'advance the line', 'retreat the line', or 'hold the line.'  These decisions have been formalized in the Shoreline Management Plans, which outlines the strategy for the coastline.  Because of the scale of erosion and cost of defences, there are many areas of Britain where the decision has been made to sacrifice land and property to the advancing sea.

In Conwy, the current strategy for most sections of our coastline is 'hold the line.'

Conwy is covered by two Shoreline Management Plans – the West of Wales Shoreline Management Plan and the North West England & North Wales Shoreline Management Plan.

View the West of Wales Shoreline Management Plan (external website)

View the North West England & North Wales Shoreline Management Plan (external website)


Landowner’s Rights and Responsibilities

Private landowners are responsible for protecting their own property from erosion and flooding.  The Council has no responsibility for the coastal protection of private property.  However, we have a duty to assess the risk a property’s risk of flooding. For more information, please see the Flooding Advice and Guidance page.

About the Welsh Coastal Monitoring Centre (WCMC)

The Welsh Coastal Monitoring Centre is funded by Welsh Government to monitor coastline evolution to protect the people of Wales.

The WCMC’s coastal monitoring programme provides the evidence we need to make decisions about managing the risks from flood and coastal erosion. Over time, this data will provide evidence to help mitigate coastal evolution, sea level rise and climate change.

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