Sand build-up flooding fears

Residents are concerned about the amount of sand blocking drains on Todmorden Road, St Annes. Below: Coun Tony Ford.
Residents are concerned about the amount of sand blocking drains on Todmorden Road, St Annes. Below: Coun Tony Ford.
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NEIGHBOURS whose lives are blighted by windblown sand are calling on the council to act – before they find their homes underwater.

Those living at Summerfields, behind the North Beach car park in St Annes, have continually complained to Fylde Council about sand from the dunes coming into their homes, ruining walls and decimating their gardens.

Fylde councillor Tony Ford

Fylde councillor Tony Ford

And now the problem has got so bad, mounds of sand have been blocking the drains – causing them to overflow during heavy rain and threaten properties.

Phil Barrow’s wife was forced to call out engineers after Friday’s torrential rain began to seep into the family’s garage.

Mr Barrow, who has lived in his home for two years, said: “It is a nightmare and it became a flood situation on Friday.

“If my wife had not been in we would have come home to a flooded house.

“We’re not naive, we expect a bit of windblown sand, but this could be avoided by proper maintenance of the dunes.”

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Fylde Council is working to on a dune management plan, which includes provision to lower the height of the sand dunes and move them closer to the beach – but residents are frustrated by the slow progress.

Fellow resident David Tetley, who has lived there for three-and-a-half years, said: “The council spent money on doing the town centre up for the Open Golf, but that could have been spent doing the dunes.”

The residents are being supported in their fight by Coun Tony Ford, their ward councillor, who has spent years calling for action.

He said: “Wind-blown sand has been a growing problem for residents for quite a while.

“There have been plans and consultations but little actual action.”

A council spokesman has pledged the authority will help residents and said: “We sympathise with the residents and will continue sweeping sand away.

“In the medium and long term we are working to reduce the height of the dunes and move them forward. That should help the residents. It will require planning permission and various consultations and that can’t be done overnight.”

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