The coast of North Wales could become an underwater Atlantis before this century thanks to costal erosion caused by rising sea levels.

Residents of low-lying seaside village, Fairbourne, fear they are set to become the UK's first "climate change refugees".

It is poised to be the first place in the UK to be made extinct by the sea, with plans already in place to stop maintaining sea wall defences by 2050s.

Villagers may be forced to move out as Gwynedd Council decided that it could not defend Fairbourne from the waves in the long-term and no money will be spent on defending it after 2054

Now residents have hit out at authorities, as the decision sends the local housing market down the plug hole – with people now being refused mortgages.

Stuart Eves, chairman of Arthog Community Council, said told NorthWalesLive: “Surveyors won’t come to the village because there’s no point, no one can get a mortgage.

The Welsh village of Fairbourne in Gwynedd which is under threat from climate change and rising seas causing coastal erosion on January 03

“Properties are still selling, but only for cash. Few people want to move, but if they did, they couldn’t, not without taking a big hit on their properties."

Mr Eves, who runs a campsite in Fairbourne, has calculated an annual figure of £8.25million if residents in each of the village’s 462 homes need supporting.

“It’s not just us, there are 25 or so communities along the coast here that could be abandoned,” the businessman said.

“Politicians can’t leave it too long to find a solution or they will be caught with their trousers down.

No money will be spent on defending the village after 2054

“One idea, for example, might be for councils to buy up some of the large farms which come on to the market in Wales.

“It might cost £2m but it will be cheaper in the long run – they could run them as campsites for 20 years, until coastal communities are evacuated, then plough the proceeds into building new villages.

“Even caravans or wooden chalets will be better than nothing for people forced to flee.”

The former engineer, 70, added: “Most people are still very upbeat and are prepared to stick it out, no matter what.

"Life must go on and we are very lucky to live in a place like this.”

But Gwynedd Council decided it could no longer afford to defend Fairbourne indefinitely back in 2013.

A person walks along the sea defences in the Welsh village of Fairbourne in Gwynedd which is under threat from climate change

Barely above sea level, the village is protected by a sea wall, earth banks and a network of drainage channels – defences that were recently improved at a cost of £6.8m.

The expense of building a new, larger sea wall would be prohibitive – the council estimates around £115-£120m. Even then it would offer no guarantees against catastrophic incursion or over-topping.

Angela Thomas, who lives in the village, said: "There’s one family in the village with seven family groups, all related – are they going to send some to Bala, others to Wrexham and Blaenau Ffestiniog?

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“And where are the vacancies anyway? Gwynedd council already has some 1,200 people on its waiting list.

“There are three sorts of people here – those who are burying their heads in the sand, those who are just getting on with life, and those who are fighting the fight,” she said.

“Those in the latter group are not prepared to sit back and take it. And why should they?

“According to the regional Shore Management Plan there are 52 communities along the west Wales coast that are under threat."