£12.1m St Annes sea wall project resumes after six month delay to revise designs

The St Annes sea wall project is resuming after a six-month delay to incorporate consultation feedback and what Fylde Council describes as “environmental challenges” into the detailed designs.

By Tony Durkin
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 3:45 pm

Those designs are expected to take until Christmas, after which a further public exhibition is planned.

At that point a planning application will be submitted, together with a marine licence application and work on the £12.1m project is expected to begin in autumn 2023, with a speculative completion date of early 2025, both dates some six months later than originally envisaged.

Jacobs UK has been appointed to carry out the detailed design of the scheme with the contractor Volker Stevin assisting them.

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Artist's impression of the proposed new sea defences at St Annes, as released by Fylde Council when the project was announced

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Fylde Council, which has commissioned the project, says it will be requesting public feedback once the initial design layouts and images have been created. They are likely to be available for viewing at a public exhibition this summer.

The council’s chief engineer Stephen Ball says work has continued in the background for the past six months to prepare for the full resumption of the project, which was announced last year.

He said: “During this period, the preferred option has been refined to address concerns from stakeholders and environmental challenges, prior to committing to the detailed design.”

Another artist's impression of the proposed new sea defences at St Annes as released by Fylde Council when the project was announced

The designs will incorporate the opinions and suggestions received from residents following the public exhibition, alongside the continuing engagement on an individual basis with local businesses and organisations affected by the works, which centre around The Island site at South Promenade.

Coun Thomas Threlfall, chairman of the council’s environment, health and housing committee, said: "As something that affects all residents and visitors alike, this is in part their project, and I would encourage everyone to have their say once the exhibition is open.”

The project, approved by the Environment Agency last autumn aims to reduce the risk of coastal erosion and flooding to more than 500 properties and businesses over the next 100 years.

It involves replacing the existing 660m long sea wall around The Island site – with a design that means none of the seafront attractions will be lost – and it follows the success of the Fairhaven to Church Scar sea wall project, which was completed in 2020.

The existing St Annes sea wall dates back to 1935 and is in a poor condition, resulting in frequent overtopping, flooding and damage to the seawall and promenade.

Before the project was passed for the funding y the Environment Agency last summer, a public consultation into the proposals had to be relaunched by Fylde Council.

That came after the initial release of the information sparked a storm of protest, with the owners of the resort’s seafront miniature train expressing fears that the future of the popular attraction could be put in doubt by the plans.

The consultation inbox was closed to allow the council to sift through the many replies in support of the train owners, the council revised the plans to ensure all the current business owners were accommodated and offered an assurance that all the original replies to the consultation would be considered.

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