Anger after vandalism hits newly opened sea defences

The burned out moped on the promenade at Rossall
The burned out moped on the promenade at Rossall
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Rossall’s new £63.2m promenade was damaged by thugs hours after its official opening – sparking anger.

The scheme, designed to protect houses, schools and businesses from the threat of flooding, was the scene of a VIP launch on Friday.

But within hours, a moped was left burnt out by vandals on the concrete walkway.

A man who worked as a security guard on the site during its construction said it was shameful, but said the area had been a target for vandals and dodgy characters.

He said: “I finished work there on Friday morning. It got its official opening at around lunchtime and then this happened in the evening.

“It is a shame but not surprising. You get some incidents there.

“While I was working there I have had verbal abuse and stones thrown at me by teenagers, and you get people going there with stolen goods and vandals spraying graffiti.

“We had someone start a fire and damage some of the concrete steps at one point.”

CounRoger Berry, Wyre’s services and community safety boss, said: “It is disappointing the spectacular new promenade, which has been wildly acclaimed by all who have seen it, has been subjected to this mindless vandalism within hours of its opening.”

The promenade sea defence scheme, which stretches two kilometres, is one of three projects delivered by the Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme Partnership, alongside the recently completed Anchorsholme Coastal Protection Scheme, and the Fairhaven to Church Scar Coastal Protection Scheme in Fylde.

It has also allowed the creation of the wildlife area called Larkholme Grasslands, on the landward side of the defences. This strip of grassland, from West Way to Fleetwood Golf Club, is already classed as a biological heritage site because of the rare species of flora and fauna that grow there.

The completion of the scheme creates a lagoon area behind the new defences – to act as an additional flood storage for spray coming over the seawall – and also provides a home for local wildlife and a new green space for residents and tourists to enjoy.

It also features specially created sculptures by Stephen Broadbent which links in to the Mythic Coast project. Characters from The Sea Swallow, including a giant stainless steel seashell and sea ogre carved from limestone, can also be spotted along the picturesque walk.