Start date hopes as plans
in for £80m sea defences

Current sea defences at Anchorsholme

Current sea defences at Anchorsholme

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Work could begin later this year on new sea defences after plans were formally submitted for the £80m scheme.

Funding is in place to upgrade the sea wall at Anchorsholme and Rossall, which was built in the 1930s, in order to protect thousands of homes and businesses from flooding.

Now planning applications have been lodged with Blackpool and Wyre Councils for the work from Little Bispham to Anchorsholme and between Rossall Hospital and Rossall Point in Fleetwood.

An estimated £55m is to be invested in the Rossall defences, with £24m to be spent at Anchorsholme.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for urban regeneration on Blackpool Council, said: “The Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme is part of the programme of work taking place across the Fylde coast to improve our coastal defences.

“The work at Anchorsholme will involve the reconstruction of the seawall which will protect the Anchorsholme community, their homes, local businesses and highways from flooding and coastal erosion, while improving access to the beach.

“The programme of work is extremely important and we’re pleased the project is moving forward.”

The work could start in November of this year.

Coun Roger Berry, cabinet member with responsibility for sea defences at Wyre Council, said: “We’ve worked extensively with the local community on the Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme to not only provide flood protection to the public but retain a recreational amenity for use by anglers and local residents and improve access points to the promenade and the beach.”

The 1km stretch at Anchorsholme will see a new 10 metre high sea wall built, meaning it will be up to 2.1 metres higher than the existing wall, while the Fleetwood stretch will be just over 11 metres high, an increase of about half a metre, covering a 2km stretch.

Design work carried out as part of the Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme sets out details of both schemes.

A report accompanying the application to Blackpool Council says the new defences will comprise a concrete sea wall with a smooth lower part and stepped upper area, a two-tiered promenade and landscaping behind.

Anchorsholme ward councillor Tony Williams said the proposals had taken into account what residents wanted.

He said: “It is a complicated piece of work and we have to make sure we get it right.

“The design has to be not only effective as a flood defence but also give access to the beach, and look attractive.

“But we have held in depth consultations with residents and a lot of their ideas are incorporated within the scheme.

“There will a be road closure of Princes Way for about 18 months while work is carried out but this is a major piece of construction work, and any disruption is going to be well worthwhile.”

The Fleetwood scheme will also incorporate a two-tier promenade, access points to the beach and the reintroduction of areas of vegetation.

Neither scheme will see any changes made to the alignment of the coastline.

The proposals will go before planners in coming weeks to seek approval.