Locals from the marvelous Welsh village of Fairbourne in Cardigan Bay are left trapped in the their own houses until it gets swollen by the sea in couple of years. According to the council plans, the city of 500 homes should undergo managed realignment and eventually be discommissioned after the sea defences are abandoned in 40 years. With such news being revealed it is impossible for the locals to sell the houses and simply move. Plus the business is also undergoing quite a challenge aiming to attract long term investment. The anger of locals is totally understandable as such government’s plans are probably made on the assumption that the sea levels are going to rise by a whole meter next century.
Campaigner Pete Cole says the village has been written off due to an ‘aggressive model’ used by planners, which was not used for other areas of the coastline.
He says another forecast concluded that sea levels could be expected to rise around 50cm rather than one metre in the next 100 years and with only a modest 20 to 30cm rise in the next 50 years.
Mr Cole said: ‘We have been hurt by the actions of the agencies who adopted these plans without thinking of the ramifications.’
The first homes in Fairbourne were built around 1900 on land which was reclaimed from the sea and is above the sea level. It is all protected by defences built back in 19th century. But according to the document presented to the locals by council, it states: ‘In the medium term over the next 50 years plans have to have been put in place and implemented to abandon defences and for the people to relocate. In the long term defences would not be maintained. It is possible to increase the levels of defences. The embankment could be raised, shingle could be brought in to defend the shoreline, and pumps could be installed to deal with increased rainfall.
‘This would incur very significant cost, with on‐going increase in costs.
‘Even in attempting to defend people, this risk is such that should defences be overtopped, or worse still breached, then the consequences would be immense and put people’s lives at risk.’