St Annes seawall upgrade suspended after projected costs more than double to nearly £30 million
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Fylde Council made the decision after recent detailed design work indicated that the scheme would cost more than double the figure outlined in the original business case from 2021 – going from £12.11m to £27.28m.
The council’s Executive Committee has accepted the recommendation from its officers not to proceed with the capital scheme at present, due to projected significant cost increases from the initial budget and the inherent risk levels remaining in the project.
Much of this increase has been put down to the rising costs of materials caused by inflation, as well as the detailed development of the design and accommodating stakeholder requirements.
Whilst the descision has been made to suspend the delivery of the project, the council will still attempt to obtain a marine licence and planning permission, and will review the project in 2030 in line with Fylde Council’s Strategic Appraisal Report which recommends replacement of the St Annes Seawall by 2033.
Instead of delivering the wall upgrade, officers will work to progress delivery of the St Annes Island Masterplan, working with funders, local businesses and all stakeholders to bring forward the vision for the development of the leisure site adjacent to the sea wall.
Councillor Tommy Threlfall, Fylde Council’s lead member for environment, said: “It is with much regret we have had to make this decision, as due to circumstances beyond our control, the project is now beyond our financial reach.
"We remain fully committed to protecting the Island strategic headland, which not only defends 510 local properties and businesses from flooding and coastal erosions, but maintains healthy beaches and dunes along the coast.
“Pushing forward with the seawall project under present conditions would not represent good value for money for our ratepayers, but it’s important to note that this is a suspension, not a cancellation of the project.
"We proudly remain committed to replacing the St Annes Seawall by 2033, as documented in the Fylde Council Strategy Appraisal report, and will use this time to hold discussions with local stakeholders on how best to progress both this scheme and the St Annes Island Masterplan as a whole.”