Probe reveals sea wall is ‘rock solid’

Sea defence work at Anchorsholme
Sea defence work at Anchorsholme
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A radar scan into the £22m sea defence project at Anchorsholme has shown the wall is ‘rock solid’ and water is not seeping through as feared.

The 1km seawall, which has been secured thanks to funding from the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will provide more flood protection to 4,500 homes and stretches from Little Bispham to Kingsway.

“Hopefully this will show people that we are making good progress and that the construction is going well.

Coun Fred Jackson

A sloped revetment, along with shaped wave-breaking units and a rear wave wall have been installed on the first 67.2 metres of the project.

It comes as a radar scan into the project proves that the completed sections are all structurally sound.

Residents who formed a Sea Defence Project FY5 group to monitor the situation reported concerns last month that a thick layer of sand and stone blinding added to the old wall ahead of new concrete slabs had collapsed six times.

It was feared water may have got into the mixture during the bad weather and had left voids which could crumble at any time.

But a Blackpool Council spokesman said: “As is good practice with coastal engineering, Blackpool Council brought in an independent company, Bentham Geoconsulting LTD, to carry out a ground penetrating radar scan, which detects the solidity of the constructed seawall.

“The results have shown the finished elements of the seawall are working as they should.”

The Anchorsholme project is being led by the Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme (FPCP) partnership which is led by Blackpool Council, Wyre Council and the Environment Agency, with the construction carried out by experienced coastal engineers Balfour Beatty, who recently completed the £75m sea defences in central Blackpool, as well as phases 2, 3 and 4 of the £19m Cleveleys Coastal Protection Scheme.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “I know a lot of the local residents up in Anchorsholme are keen to see the new flood defences completed to a good quality in a way that help protect the area from flooding for years to come.

“Hopefully this picture will show people that we are making good progress and that the construction is going well.

“As well as flood protection, the scheme will also see improvements to Princes Way and the access between the promenade and the park and I’m sure that the final product will be of the highest quality.

“We’ve tried to keep residents informed as much as possible while the scheme progresses and only recently held a set of public meetings with the residents to keep them up to date with the project, as well as with the United Utilities work to improve bathing water that is happening on the park at the same time.”

The FPCP is also working on the £64m seawall construction at Rossall in Fleetwood, as well as supporting a bid for £17m worth of funding for new sea defences at Church Scar and Fairhaven in Fylde.

For more information on the project, residents can visit the information cabins based at each of the constructions sites at Anchorsholme.

The cabin is open from 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday, with an officer in the cabi n on Tuesday mornings.