£17m sea defence plans on show

Lytham coastline
Lytham coastline

Fylde Council is unveiling major plans to secure sea defences and – possibly – future management of the coastline at a one-day public exhibition.

Work, estimated to cost £17m, on improved sea defences at Fairhaven Lake and Church Scar may, if Environment Agency cash is forthcoming, start as soon as 2017.

Coun David Eaves

Coun David Eaves

Sea defences at Pleasure Island are also being considered although with a longer timescale – possibly 20 years.

Coun David Eaves, Fylde Council leader, said: “Sea defences are being improved across the entire Fylde Coast and we will consider using the opportunity to improve the entire coastal strip.

“The area still looks great but we have seen at Blackpool and Cleveleys how works to sea defences can be used to improve the entire appeal of the area. Fylde has the opportunity to follow the same route.”

As part of the scheme, a wider Coastal Masterplan aims to boost Fylde’s attractiveness to residents and tourists by improved management, maintenance and development of the borough’s coastal assets.

Coun Eaves added: “I urge people to attend the exhibition which will display the sea defence proposals and, subject to approval, the Coastal Masterplan. Experienced staff will be on hand to talk people through the plans and people will be asked for their views.

“Fylde is a fantastic area for visitors and residents but parts of the coastal area has been falling behind the times and will, at some stage, require sensitive modernisation if they are to continue to appeal.

“Work on the sea defences, of course, needs little explanation and we’ve reached the end of the road in terms of short-term repairs: they need comprehensive renewal.

“The wider Coastal Masterplan proposes to divide the area’s coastline into six zones according to the characteristics they already have. The concept involves enhancing those characteristics to boost the coast’s appeal for the 21st century.”

The Coastal Masterplan proposals were set to considered by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday (yesterday).

The plans will lead to a six week consultation and will be displayed for public comment at the April exhibition.

The sea defence proposals and Coastal Masterplan proposals will both be open to public consultation at the exhibition, but both public consultations will be carried out separately.

Coun Tommy Threlfall, cabinet portfolio holder for environment and partnerships said: “The council has worked hard to secure the in-principle funding for the replacement of the coastal defences by being pro-active and continually pushing the case for Fylde.

“I have been particularly concerned about the state of our coastal defences and am glad to see this work being taken forward, which should have a positive impact on tourism, the environment and the safety of our residents.”

The public exhibition is at town hall between 8.30am and 9pm on Wednesday. The sea-wall defence proposals will be available for viewing and comment at the town hall until April 16 while the Coastal Masterplan proposals will be available until May 15.