COMMUNITY leaders today welcomed the go ahead for the £108m coastal flood defence schemes between Blackpool and Fleetwood.
Local councils are working in partnership to replace sea defences from Kingsway to Little Bispham at Anchorsholme and between Rossall Hospital and Rossall Point.
Coun Gary Coleman, cabinet member for regeneration at Blackpool Council, said: “It’s clear to see the current sea defences aren’t fit for purpose and won’t protect this area from flooding.
“This is a fantastic boost for the area.”
Environmental impact assessment reports will now be carried out while site investigations are due to take place next month to examine the different types of rock and soil underneath the existing coastal defence walls.
The results will be used to help finalise the designs for the scheme.
Following a series of public consultation events in March, the councils will start drawing up the detailed designs from the summer with a view to starting construction towards the end of 2013, beginning with the Anchorsholme defences.
The announcement has been greeted with delight by residents, business people and councillors.
Wyre Council Jubilee ward councillor David Walmsley said: “I am absolutely delighted. In Anchorsholme, during the last spring tide, the road was closed, waves were splashing over and there was sand everywhere.
“There is no doubt if we have another storm like the one in November 1977 we would be vulnerable.”
Alan Marsh, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, said “the employment prospects are tremendous” while Coun Roger Berry, cabinet member with responsibility for sea defences at Wyre Council, thanked those who had pushed for the scheme – including The Gazette and its sister title the Fleetwood Weekly News.
He said: “The current sea wall is coming to the end of its life.
“We’ve moved a step closer to securing extra protection for thousands of homes and businesses and the support we received from the people of Fleetwood and local media played no small part in illustrating the importance of this issue within the community.”
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