Anger as wait goes on for repair to Blackpool sea defences

Calls have been made for repair work to be completed at Anchorsholme sea defences amid fears a high tide could lead to flooding in the area.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:42 am

Defects in the sea wall first came to light in 2015 – with concerns raised again in 2017 when the £27m scheme was completed by contractor Balfour Beatty.

In a report to full council in 2018, Blackpool Council’s then deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said Balfour Beatty had “accepted responsibility” for the defects in some parts of the wall.

But Anchorsholme councillors Tony Williams and Paul Galley say despite raising concerns “several times over the past few years, still nothing has been done.”

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Anchorsholme sea defences
Anchorsholme sea defences

In a joint statement, they added: “Promises made by the council and the contractors Balfour Beatty have been broken and guaranteed deadlines have not been kept.”

The council says Balfour Beatty is working on a solution to the problem with work due to begin soon.

But Coun Williams and Coun Galley say concerns about cracks in the concrete trapping water had been raised right from the start of the project.

They said: “These concerns had been raised from the very start of the work when large concrete beds were washed away by the sea.

“Both the council and Balfour Beatty gave assurances at the time that all was well – clearly it wasn’t.

“Balfour Beatty agreed to repair all the faults that occured and they started work early last year. However they appear to have ceased all further work and the repairs are unfinished.

“In the meantime after six years of work the sea defences are still not finished and as this area around Anchorsholme is a flood risk, lots of the residents are rightly worried and annoyed.”

The councillors warned “until this is resolved it looks like the residents may have to live in fear of the next giant tide.”

John Blackledge, Blackpool Council’s director of community and environmental services, said: “Balfour Beatty accept liability for the defects and repairs, the works are still under their control, they have been designing a solution and are currently checking the long term effects of the solution through a series of extensive testing.

“Once this investigation and testing is complete we will be in a position to advise when the defect and repair works will commence.

“Despite the work that may be required it is important that we must not lose sight of the huge benefits the sea wall is providing as a barrier to potential flooding.”

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