Campaigners challenge council claims over Anchorsholme sea defences

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Campaigners who are calling for repairs to be made to Anchorsholme sea defences have hit back at council claims the wall is holding firm.

John McNicholas and Paul Hewitt, who run the Sea Defence FY5 Facebook page updating residents on the situation, say their concerns are the result of “regular observations”.

They warn “collapse of the wall is inevitable” as water ingress weakens the structure and creates voids inside, and add they “cannot agree with the conclusions drawn by the recent council inspection”.

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They say stainless steel tubes were due to be inserted into the £27m wall in May 2020 by contractor Balfour Beatty “to assist drainage” but this has not yet been done.

Anchorsholme sea defencesAnchorsholme sea defences
Anchorsholme sea defences

Mr McNicholas of Bispham, and Mr Hewitt of Anchorsholme, add: “The council admit that as we approach together the eighth year of this alleged two year project, Balfour Beatty are now engaged in a 12 month survey to assess the walls problems.

“Clearly the matter is far from being resolved by any 12 month survey as the last six years of on and off repairs and remedial works bear testimony to.”

Earlier this month John Blackledge, Blackpool Council’s director for community and environmental services, said inspections in July and October did “not show any visible signs of deterioration to the sea wall or highway and it is providing a significant barrier to potential flooding.”

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He said the sea defences were designed to let tidal and ground water into and out of the structure.

Mr Blackledge said Balfour Beatty had begun a 12 month assessment of the sea defences at the beginning of this year and the “current focus is to ensure that this drainage functions and performs reliably, and will continue to do so in the long term.”

Anchorsholme ward councillors Tony Williams and Paul Galley have also raised concerns about erosion of the sea wall at Anshorsholme which was finished in 2017.

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