£17m sea defence hopes

The South Fylde shoreline near Lytham
The South Fylde shoreline near Lytham

Around £17m of sea defences could be built along the South Fylde shoreline – just weeks after a similar scheme was given the go-ahead.

If given the green light, regeneration plans – part of the Fylde Shoreline Strategy – will set out a number of key coastal defence projects in Fylde along the coastline between Lytham and St Annes.

Earlier this month, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) approved an £86m scheme to boost sea defences at Rossall in Fleetwood and Anchorsholme in Cleveleys, protecting 12,000 properties from coastal flooding.

The application is going through final consideration at the Environment Agency and, once approved, will form the framework for coastal defence projects at Fairhaven Lake, Church Scar, Granny’s Bay, Pleasure Island, Lytham Green and Lytham Creek, with work starting as soon as 2015/16.

Coun Tommy Threlfall, Fylde Council’s cabinet member for environment and partnerships, said: “We’ve been told in principle that we will get £175,000 from the Environment Agency to commission a study into at the coastal headlands along the coastline of Lytham and St Annes.

“Over the past few years voids and breaches have appeared in some sections of the walls and we’ve repaired them straight away. Some places have seen repeated repairs which is not as effective, doesn’t look good and is increasingly expensive.

“We want to get the defences right for the future and the Environment Agency has asked us to produce a business case to fund replacement of existing sea defences.”

Ruth Fraser, manager at the Ribble Discovery Centre based at Fairhaven Lake, said key improvements were needed to sea defences in the area.

She added: “When you get the equinox in March and September, tides of 9m come into Granny’s Bay. The issue is if that happens with a following wind – the tide can be 10m or more. Granny’s Bay is obviously a weak spot of the sea defences.” An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Fylde Council has submitted a preliminary request to fund initial investigations and studies into proposed new flood defences from Fairhaven Lake to Church Scar.

“Our Project Assurance Board will meet in November to assess the proposals, before making a decision.”

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