£22m coastal protection scheme set for Fleetwood and Cleveleys moves forward

With the new sea wall complete at Rossall, Wyre Council is looking to further bolster coastal defences at Fleetwood and Cleveleys with another major project.
With the new sea wall complete at Rossall, Wyre Council is looking to further bolster coastal defences at Fleetwood and Cleveleys with another major project.

An ambitious multi-million coastal protection project earmarked for Fleetwood and Cleveleys has moved a step forward.

The Wyre Beach Management Scheme would see the creation of new rock groynes and increased levels of sand to provide a natural barrier to reduce the power of the waves – and help safeguard more than 11,250 homes.

It would provide an additional layer of protection from the sea, which is forecast to rise in future years, following the the official opening of the new £68m sea wall at Rossall last year.

But in order for the scheme to progress, Wyre Council needs to access up to £22 million of government cash from the DEFRA’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) fund.

Now councillors have moved the proposals forward after agreeing to appoint Preston-based civil engineering firm Volker Stevin (UK) to assist in the preparation of a business case for the coastal scheme.

A Wyre spokesman explained: “Volker Stevin will not be the contractor for the work needed, but they have already provided estimates and other planning stages information which we can use as part of our project.”

Wyre would need approval from the Environment Agency (EA) to access the DEFRA cash for the scheme’s design and construction.

A council report stated: ” To be able to progress the scheme to construction it is necessary to follow the EA’s appraisal guidance, which is in accordance with DEFRA policy statement.

“The work requires the assistance of a competent contractor who has significant knowledge of this length of coastline to develop the economic, technical and buildability aspects of the business case.”

Wyre says the scheme will help protect the existing sea wall and give it a longer life.

It would reduce the amount of repairs needed and effectively lower the level of the waves