Fears raised over state of old sea wall

Pic Martin Bostock Councillor Keith Riley
Pic Martin Bostock Councillor Keith Riley

A former Fleetwood councillor has expressed new concerns about the state of the existing sea wall at Rossall.

Although construction of a massive £64m coastal defence scheme is due to get underway at Rossall next month, Keith Riley fears that not enough is being done to keep the current wall in a sufficient state of repair.

Mr Riley says his latest concerns were sparked when a contract worker at Rossall told him a section of the wall, between Rossall Hospital and Larkholme Parade, had been damaged and needed to be shored up by boulders.

However, Wyre Council, which is playing a key role in overseeing the new coastal defence scheme, insists everything is being done to ensure the existing sea wall is safe.

Mr Riley, who helped set up the old Fleetwood Flood Association after the 1977 floods, said: “Obviously we are getting new coastal defences, but is everything being done to keep the current wall repaired?

“We are likely to have stormy weather between November and January.

“If that wall is not repaired properly. we could have serious problems. If it is damaged, as this contract worker said, then it needs fixing properly.”

Mr Riley, whose Marine Parade home is close to the wall, said he was unable to get more details from the contract worker.

But he added: “We know the sea wall is crumbling. If it fails during very bad weather, there are a lot of homes at risk.”

Mr Riley also warns that the overspill spill lagoon next to the wall is failing to empty, suggesting there is either a blockage or a flat valve failure which could also create problems.

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “The existing sea defences were inspected following the storm and some damage to the aprons was found, which was repaired immediately.

“The defences at Rossall are vulnerable which is why we’re replacing them in a £64m improvement scheme.

“In the meantime, we continue to inspect them regularly and carry out repairs as necessary.”