Defences may mean end of angling club

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Anglers have rejected multi-million pound coastal defence plans saying they will leave them without an important stretch of coastline from which to fish.

One club has even said that should the Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme plan go ahead it could spell the end of its 60- year heritage.

The Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme is a £65m project to replace the sea wall between Rossall Hospital and Fleetwood Golf Course to protect 8,000 properties.

Wyre Council met with members of the angling community to discuss concerns after issues were raised during the consultation process over the defences between Rossall Hospital and Rossall Point.

Anglers said rock armour, made up of rocks or other materials placed against sea walls to reduce the energy of waves and prevent erosion, would make it difficult to fish over.

The profile of the coastal defence scheme has now been amended to reduce the quantity of rock and provide a lower level promenade, to allow fishing to continue along what is considered to be an important stretch of coastline.

Coun Roger Berry, cabinet member with responsibility for sea defences at Wyre Council, said: “I’m pleased that we could accommodate the needs of the angling community whilst retaining the integrity of the important sea defence structure which protects properties from flooding.”

But the anglers have said the rock armour will still cause problems, making it difficult to retrieve lines when fishing.

Mike Owen, chairman of Fleetwood and District Angling Club, said: “We will adjust accordingly, we just won’t fish as many spots on the coastline where the rocks are. If we do fish it’ll be at lower water.

“As far as I’m concerned fishing will completely change.”

The club said where itfishes along the stretch of coastline, they would only be able to feasibly accommodate one or two on the steps.

Mr Owen said: “It’s wiped out our annual open which generates money for the club.

“It could end up breaking the club, we’ve been established since 1953.”

The proposals are currently at planning stage and can be viewed at www.wyre.gov.uk