Specialist workers at Aberaeron coastal defence site could get temporary accommodation if new scheme passed by planners

A SCHEME for temporary accommodation for specialist workers near Ceredigion’s Penmorfa council offices, as part of the ongoing near-£32m Aberaeron coastal defence works, has been submitted to county planners.

The application, by Andrew Pointon-Bell of costal defence works construction works contractors BAM Nuttall says the units would be placed is within an existing temporary site compound below the Penmorfa Carpark, Aberaeron.

The application adds: “The existing site compound which is currently a laydown area for construction plant will be used to store temporary buildings for the duration of the construction works to provide site accommodation. The area is already stoned up as part of the site compound.

“So, the application is for a change of use for an existing area to establish temporary accommodation units. The units are free standing and don’t require foundations or permanent works. Parking and utility connections are already established for the current office and welfare setup.

“The area is part of the existing site compound being utilised for the Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme. The area is currently a stoned laydown area being used for construction plant and materials.”

In its application justification statement BAM Nuttall says: “BAM Nuttall have planning permission to set up a temporary office compound with associated offices and welfare. As part of these works, we will require a specialist workforce who will travel to the scheme due to its remote location, in addition to our local labour.

“This application is to add overnight units to an already agreed temporary site accommodation layout.”

It says the site working hours pattern, of 7am-7pm, will allow the workers to have adequate rest breaks and also comply with the requirement for a minimum period of 11 hours break between shifts, adding: “Finding accommodation in Aberaeron locally, particularly in the summer months for the number of personnel on a shift-type basis is very difficult and not practical.”

Aberaeron County Councillor Cllr Elizabeth Evans, in a statement in support of the application, said: “I am happy to support this application, subject to any conditions requested by the planning officers in making their determination. It is unusual for me to comment in advance of the submission of an application, but I am conscious of the need to ‘house’ the Bam workforce as the project proceeds.

“I am also aware that available accommodation within the town will now be less available due to seasonal bookings. Added to this pressure is the fact that the much-favoured, and less costly, Feathers Hotel, is now closed until further notice.”

Works on the scheme are underway, with the recent unloading of rock brought from Norway by barge to the town’s South Beach.

The £31.59m Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme is funded through a £26.85m contribution from the Welsh Government’s Coastal Risk Management Programme, together with a £4.74m contribution from Ceredigion County Council.

The scheme includes the construction of a rock breakwater extending out from North Pier, refurbishment and re-building of pier head of South Pier, construction of flood walls, construction of flood gate at Pwll Cam inner harbour and improvements to the existing defences on South Beach.

The scheme itself was approved at the February 2023 meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee, with BAM Nuttall Ltd the construction contractors.

The application will be considered by planners at a later date.

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