About the Central Rhyl Coastal Defences Scheme

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Rhyl is a well-loved seaside town with many homes and businesses located along the seafront.

The central area of Rhyl (approximately between Splash Point to the east and the Drift Park to the west) is currently protected by sea defence structures. However, these are deteriorating and, if no work is carried out, they could fail within the next 10-15 years. Currently, 548 residential and 44 non-residential properties are at predicted to be at risk from flooding.

The purpose of the proposed scheme is to improve coastal flood defences in Central Rhyl to protect homes, businesses and the tourist economy from flooding events and coastal erosion well into the future.

Planning process and funding

The progression of the coastal defences scheme in Central Rhyl is subject to the availability of funding and obtaining the relevant planning and environmental permissions:

  • Planning permission - To carry out the scheme, Denbighshire County Council would be required to secure planning permission via the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Planning was approved for the scheme in July 2022.
  • Marine Licence - A Band 3 marine licence from Natural Resources Wales has been obtained to ensure compliance with the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (external website)

If the scheme goes ahead, it will be partially funded by the Welsh Government, as part of its Coastal Risk Management Programme (CRMP).

Flood risk map

This map shows the extent of possible flooding in Rhyl and illustrates the flood risk to properties if coastal defence improvements do not take place:


Predicted flood extent in 2118 based on current defence heights, for a flood event that has 1 in 200 (0.5%) chance of happening in any year.

About the scheme

The coastal defences at Rhyl were originally built at various times between 1900 and 1920 and no longer meet current standards. Without intervention, they will ultimately fail. We need to replace them at the earliest opportunity to reduce the risk of flooding and to support the regeneration of Rhyl.

The Central Rhyl Coastal Defences Scheme covers a distance of approximately 2km from Splash Point to the Drift Park area (to east of the mouth of the River Clwyd).

The standards of defences required have changed since the existing defences were constructed, which means they cannot be replaced 'like for like'. We have considered a wide range of options for improving existing coastal defences in Central Rhyl in line with the standard of protection provided by the adjacent defences at East Rhyl (completed in 2021) and West Rhyl (completed in 2015).

The preferred option that has been selected via a comprehensive options appraisal process in line with Welsh Government guidance, comprises two distinct sections:

  • The eastern section (coloured green on the map below) which runs from Splash Point to approximately SeaQuarium and Rhyl Events Arena.
  • The western section (coloured blue on the map below) which runs from SeaQuarium to opposite Drift Park.

Central Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme

The eastern section will predominantly consist of rock scour protection to the foundations of the existing defences plus concrete repairs to the existing defences.

It is anticipated that the scour protection will consist of boulders being placed at the base of the existing structures.

This will be mostly buried beneath the existing beach level and there will be walkways through the rocks to maintain beach access:


The western section would consist of a new stepped revetment, raised and widened promenade and new seawall.

Improved access (via steps and a ramp) to the beach shall also be provided by the proposed works in the western section:


We will put measures in place to mitigate any disruption and environmental impacts that may arise as a result of the construction; for example, impacts on noise levels, vibration, or air quality.

Results of informal public engagement: July and August 2021

In July and August 2021, we asked for your feedback on the scheme, including the flood defence options we might use, to find out what is important to you, what benefits you think the scheme could bring and any concerns that you may have.

162 people responded to the online survey. Here are the highlights:

Your top three most important considerations as we develop the scheme were:

  • Sea views/the scheme needs to look nice (85% rated this as ‘very important’)
  • Easy access to traffic-free cycle and walking routes (72%)
  • Easy access to public toilets (69%)

Your top three potential benefits of the scheme were:

  • Increased resilience to flooding and coastal erosion (81% rated this as ‘very important’)
  • Improved look for the beach and promenade (79%)
  • Improve existing access to beach (70%)

Feedback from the survey also showed some common concerns including:

  • Keeping the beach and promenade accessible during and after construction
  • What the defences will look like
  • Potential impact on businesses/tourism while work is taking place (particularly during peak tourism times)
  • loss of the existing sandy beach
  • Potential barriers to sea views.

We would like to thank everyone who completed the survey, we will take your views into account as we progress the scheme.

Ongoing activities

The pre-application consultation period for the Central Rhyl Coastal Defences Scheme ended on 09 February 2022. A public exhibition for the scheme was held at Rhyl Town Hall on 25 and 26 January 2022.

The planning application was submitted to Denbighshire County Council and is available to view online. The application reference is 45/2022/0271.

Planning was approved for the scheme in July 2022.

Should you have comments relating to the planning application, these should be directed to Denbighshire County Council's Planning Department.

Next steps

Approval for funding for the scheme is being finalised and subject to this, we expect construction to start in early 2023 and take approximately two and a half years.

Construction of the western section elements would take approximately the full construction period. Development of the eastern section is proposed to take approximately one and a half years.