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Coast protection works at Long Rock completed

A major project to improve the coastal resilience in Mounts Bay has been completed, with a 350 metre length of the coast at Long Rock now open for the general public. Over 12,500 tonnes of locally sourced rock has been used to protect the most vulnerable section of this coast from eroding and being breached during storm conditions, flooding the railway and the area behind it. 

The works are part of a wider £3.7 million strategic project to improve coastal resilience in Mount’s Bay and will also include environmental improvements to Marazion Marsh. The works are being wholly funded by grants from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Environment Agency Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid (FDGiA).

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Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection at Cornwall Council, Rob Nolan, said:  “The work which has been done here is an important element of protecting this particular stretch of coastline, along with businesses and homes behind it. The construction which has been done also creates a better public space, with improvements for the users of the coast path and cycleway, who will now be able to stop and admire this stunning view.”

The project reduces the level of flood risk to the community of Long Rock as the impacts of climate change, storm surges and sea level rise increase. 

The coast defence scheme:

  • Provides increased coastal protection to the Great Western Railway mainline and A30 serving strategic transport links in and out of Penzance and access to the Isles of Scilly.
  • Protects domestic and commercial assets and infrastructure including 295 residential properties and 65 commercial properties.
  • Creates better conditions for sustained economic growth by reducing obstacles to local investment, complementing new development and allowing greater connection with customers.

Councillor Simon Elliott said: “I welcome this coastal defence work and have given it my full support since the plans were first released. It has been clear from the storms over the last few years that this area is particularly vulnerable and the rock armour represents the best solution in the short term to protecting the businesses and community of Long Rock.

“With the beautiful views across the bay that the coastal path provides, and the area being created by the defences, I was pleased to make £1,000 of my Community Chest fund available to provide picnic benches to hopefully create a great spot to stop and take in our wonderful environment.”

The development, along with creating a new sea defence and public amenity space; has also created two new ramps onto the beach, to allow for greater public access to the water.

Council Lead on Flooding and Coastal Change, Dr Dave Watkins, added:  “To maximise the environmental benefits of the works the rock armour has been placed further forward than is normal to allow the natural backshore dunes to grow in the shadow of the rock armour, reversing the current erosion. This was a necessary step to allow a margin of safety while we develop long term plans for the sustainability of this coast under pressure.”

Story posted 16 August 2019