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Sea defence proposed for St Mawes

By WBEsme  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

  • Devastation: recent storms have caused severe damage to St Mawes.

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AFTER the recent wild and wet weather, the Roseland parish council is investigating building a sea defence to protect the storm damaged village of St Mawes.

Over the past two weeks surging seas and gale force winds have ripped through business and homes in the village, breaking windows and badly flooding buildings.

Powerful waves battered large cracks in to the harbour wall and a combination of debris and huge swells smashed through the doors and devastated the St Mawes gig shed.

Now the Roseland parish council is considering the possibility of bolstering the protective harbour wall with a sea defence to prevent future high tides reaching The Square.

A spokesman from Roseland parish council said: “We are in the very early stages of looking in to a defence for The Square.

“At the moment we have no idea whether it is feasible, we are assessing the practicality of it really.”

In an average year, The Square is usually hit by flooding three or four times when a combination of high spring tides and south or south-westerly winds hit the south coast.

But in the last few weeks, fresh rubble, sand, seaweed and other sea debris have been dumped in the village almost daily, requiring local residents, street cleaners and Cornwall Council to clear the roads every morning.

The parish council has also raised concerns about the safety of the square for older residents, young children and people with prams or wheelchairs.

“We have had lots of waste and debris coming in to the square and we have had to remove it every day for the last few weeks.

“The stones and debris are too much for our street cleaners to pick up. Although Cornwall Council is very good, it can’t always come out immediately.

“We’ve even had the tarmac of sections of roads uprooted by waves.”

Although most agree further protection needs to be provided to St Mawes, Roseland parish council is unsure what the sea defence would look like, how much it would cost and where the money would come from.

“The problem is it is a difficult place to put a defence as there is only a small gap of around 8ft.

“We wouldn’t be able to put in a temporary defence, it would have to be dug down in to the foundations – and this is not an easy job.”

Jo Buckley from The Rising Sun pub in St Mawes, said: “A lot of the public bins that you wouldn’t have thought could be moved and things such as lobster pots have been floating along the quay and ending up in The Square.

“Stones and the sea did make it up to our door and the power cuts affected our food service.”

The pub managed the escape the worst of the weather unscathed, but Mrs Buckley described the effect of the storms on other businesses as “devastating” and supports the idea of an added sea defence for St Mawes.

She said: “I can’t see it doing any harm and I’m sure if it would only be a good thing.”

Roseland parish council have praised the hard work of Cornwall Council, the fire service, the police and the local community in dealing with the recent weather.

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