£80m sea wall dream bid moves closer

Damage to the sea wall at Anchorsholme.
Damage to the sea wall at Anchorsholme.
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AN £80m bid to build the final section of much-needed sea defences has been submitted.

Blackpool and Wyre councils have lodged a joint submission to the Government for the cash which would protect more than 12,000 properties from the risk of flooding.

An artists impression of the proposed new sea defences for Anchorsholme.

An artists impression of the proposed new sea defences for Anchorsholme.

It is hoped the Shoreline Strategy Plan will win backing later this year so formal grant applications can be made next February, with a decision expected in May.

The scheme would see 1km of new defences built between Little Bispham and Kingsway at a cost of £24m, protecting 4,960 properties from flood risk.

The Rossall stretch between Rossall Hospital and Rossall Point would cost £55m, cover 1.9km and protect 7,495 properties including Rossall Hospital and a number of schools and government buildings.

Coun Gary Coleman, cabinet member for regeneration on Blackpool Council, said: “The current sea wall at Anchorsholme is in very poor condition leaving thousands of properties at risk of flooding, which is a situation we want to rectify as soon as possible.”

He added: “A huge amount of work has gone into planning these schemes. We hope it will enable us to access £24m to build new defences in Anchorsholme and also the £55m funding for the Rossall scheme for our neighbours.

“We think we’ve put a really good case together and by working with Wyre Council, we’ve shown how we can achieve value for money and complete the projects quicker by combining both authority’s in-house expertise.

“We have a joint project team and soon a single competitively selected contractor which will bring huge benefits. Submitting the Shoreline Strategy Plan is a vital step forward and I’m delighted we are getting closer to achieving a result for the local residents.”

Coun Roger Berry, cabinet member with responsibility for sea defences at Wyre Council, said: “The elements aren’t confined by boundaries.

“Blackpool and Wyre share one coastline and a breach of the seawall at one end will quickly affect the other, so working together is the smart thing to do.

“There’s no doubt locally that both these projects are vital for the future protection of our seaside communities. A combined application should go a long way towards convincing the decision makers at national level.”

Many homes in the area suffered during a huge flood in 1977, and the bid has been welcomed by the community.