Sea defence work moves a step nearer

Coun Tommy Threlfall said a bid was being finalised for �17m of Environment Agency cash for Fylde's sea defences
Coun Tommy Threlfall said a bid was being finalised for �17m of Environment Agency cash for Fylde's sea defences

A major plan which could see more than £17m spent on improving sea defences on the Fylde coast is set to be unveiled – with residents urged to have their say on the project.

Engineering staff at Fylde Council have been told work on sea walls at Church Scar in Lytham and Fairhaven could start in 2016/17 – two years sooner than previously expected – if the Environment Agency agrees to fund the projects when the £17m bid is considered in August.

Coun Tommy Threlfall

Coun Tommy Threlfall

Spring’s consultation with the public will present Fylde Council’s “preferred option” for the Environment Agency bid.

The choice engineers and councillors are considering is between a stepped revetment like the installation at Cleveleys, a sloping revetment or “rock armour” – a wall of large rocks. Coun Tommy Threlfall, Fylde Council cabinet member for Environment and Partnerships, said: “The Environment Agency has indicated that more than £16m is earmarked for Fylde, so we now have to come up with a preferred option that they are prepared to support.

“It means we have to come up with a good scheme and an affordable scheme – which is what we are considering at the moment.

“The good news is that if they will support our scheme then the work will start two years earlier than we were told previously. I am so pleased because we have worked so hard on this and it appears there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

This is work that will last for generations to come, so we want it to look good as well as prevent coastal flooding and erosion which is the project’s primary purpose.

“This is work that will last for generations to come, so we want it to look good as well as prevent coastal flooding and erosion which is the project’s primary purpose.”

Final proposals for the project will go on display at the RSPB Centre at Fairhaven Lake in spring.

Major sea defence scheme not the only plans for Fairhaven Lake

After hundreds of hours of work and more than 10,000 letters of support, a bid to restore Fairhaven Lake has been finalised.

This week, a bid for £2m was sent to the Heritage Lottery Fund in the hope of bringing about the restoration of the lake, gardens, historic buildings, structures and landscapes.

It is part of the wider £17m project which will see an extensive sea defence regeneration scheme at Church Scar and Fairhaven.

The £2m bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund would focus on upgrading facilities for boating, sports and young people with classrooms built at the Ribble Discovery Centre.