Sea defence work set for early start

AERIAL VIEW / FAIRHAVEN LAKE / WHITE CHURCH / GRANNY'S BAY / CLIFTON DRIVE RUNS TOP RIGHT  TO BOTTOM looking north from Lytham, where '''West Beach becomes Clifton Drive heading towards St Annes.

AERIAL VIEW / FAIRHAVEN LAKE / WHITE CHURCH / GRANNY'S BAY / CLIFTON DRIVE RUNS TOP RIGHT TO BOTTOM looking north from Lytham, where '''West Beach becomes Clifton Drive heading towards St Annes.

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A major £17m scheme to help protect thousands of homes from flooding could start in months after the project was brought forward.

The Environment Agency confirmed this week the Fairhaven and Church Scar sea defence work in Lytham could start next year after extra funding was freed up by the Government.

The earlier-than-expected start now triggers a springtime consultation with the public at which Fylde Council’s ‘preferred option’ for the sea defence protection will be presented.

Coun Tommy Threlfall, Fylde Council cabinet member for Environment and Partnerships, said: “It is great news for Fylde and will protect 2,000 homes from the risk of flooding.

“The Environment Agency indicated earlier this year that the work could start earlier than expected and this confirmation will be warmly welcomed by home owners in the area.

“I am so pleased because we have worked so hard on this and it appears there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

“This is work that will last for generations to come, so we want it to look good as well as prevent coastal flooding and erosion which is the project’s primary purpose.”

The Environment Agency is currently working on replacing 2km of existing sea wall at Rossall and Anchorshome. The scheme will reduce flood risk to 14,000 homes and businesses.

In Fylde engineers and councillors are considering sea defence work including a stepped revetement as in the sea defence work at Cleveleys, or a sloping revetement – effectively a wall or rocks.

Coun Threlfall added: “We will be completely open with the public when we stage the consultation – probably at the RSPB building at Fairhaven Lake next month – and we hope they will support our proposals.”

The project is one of two, including another in Preston, which is expected to start earlier than announced.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “What the announcement means is greater peace of mind for thousands of people who are at risk from flooding across the North West.

“Work will begin on two flood defence projects sooner than originally planned. This is another example of infrastructure funded by the UK Government as part of our long-term economic plan.”