Cost fears over new coastal watch tower

Artist's impression of thethe proposed new Rossall Point lookout.
Artist's impression of thethe proposed new Rossall Point lookout.

WYRE Council is worried about the rocketing cost of an ambitious new lookout tower at Rossall Point in Fleetwood.

Cabinet members were due to meet today to discuss how the costs can be controlled.

The old coastguard lookout – now occupied by the Coastwatch Institution – is to be demolished.

It will make way for a tower of a modern design which would also serve as a bird-watching station for the public and education centre and would incorporate modern art.

It will also boast toilet facilities.

But the cabinet will be told that tenders for the work are way over the £470,000 budget.

The cost has proved high because of the use of pre-cast concrete.

The cabinet will be told how their consultants are trying to cut the bill for the project, part of the £1.6m Sea Change project.

They will also be asked to consider using money from a reserve fund.

Watchkeeper Ken Harcombe, a volunteer with the local National Coastwatch Institution, told the Weekly News: “We are in the hands of Wyre Council, as they are the ones spending money on it.

“We just hope that we will be consulted if there are any reductions in the money being spent.”

Meanwhile, there will be an open weekend beginning this Friday to give Fleetwood folk chance to say goodbye to one of the old tower, which has stood watch over the beach at Rossall Point for more than 60 years.

The open weekend will be held between noon and 4pm from this Friday, May 27 until Monday, May 30.

Mr Harcombe added: “We would just advise people that while everybody is welcome, they will need to negotiate step ladders and facilities are limited.”

Visit http://www.ncirossallpointfleetwood.co.uk/ or call (01253) 681378 for more details.