The Institution of Civil Engineers North West has recognised the Fairhaven to Church Scar scheme as Sustainability Project of the year.

Each year, the ICE North West Awards showcase the collective and individual achievements of civil engineers, seeking out excellence in civil engineering practice across the region, and celebrating recently completed projects, diversity best practice and outstanding individual contribution within the engineering profession.

Emma Antrobus, Director, ICE North West said: “Civil engineers are in a pivotal position to help address the climate crisis that our planet is facing. This project had sustainable measures at its very core and ensured that huge carbon savings were made, through measures such as reusing and recycling 97% of waste materials. As well as protecting people’s properties from the threat of flooding and erosion, it is a wonderful asset for the community and visitors alike.”

The project, to protect over 2,400 properties from coastal erosion began work on site in 2018 after some years of project development and stretches from Fairhaven Lake to Church Scar promenade on Seafield Road. The previous defences were built in the late 1890s and were in a failing condition, requiring emergency repairs to be financed every year to prevent a breach and coastal erosion.

Further to Fylde Council securing a £21.4m grant investment from the Environment Agency, VBA (a joint venture between VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business) completed all the works under budget and ahead of the contract Completion Date of December 2020, re-opening the area to the public in July 2020.

The ICE explained that the scheme ‘is all about protecting properties and infrastructure from coastal erosion and flooding threat.

A huge carbon saving was achieved, including 97% of the waste recycled or reused.

The project also used 80% local labour providing opportunities for apprentices and work experience. Safe, easy access to the beach is now provided for all – an exemplary job.’

Councillor Roger Small, Chair of the Operational Management committee said: “I would like to congratulate the team at Fylde Council for achieving this prestigious award, that recognises the superb engineering scheme at Fairhaven and Church Scar.

As many thousands of people can testify this coastal protection has combined sea defence with a futuristic design enhancing the area for outdoor recreational activities.

The area has shown itself to be a magnet for people wanting fresh air whilst exercising to a magnificent backdrop of the bay on one side and the lake on the other.

It demonstrates that Fylde can deliver important projects like this on time and under budget, and this is down to a dedicated team carefully managing all aspects of the works.

I would also like to express my gratitude to local residents who patiently endured inconvenience while construction was going on.

Hopefully, we can look forward to a new scheme for the St Anne’s sea wall defences in the near future. We believe that the Environment Agency will look favourably on an authority that has shown itself able to deliver big projects on time and to budget.”

Councillor Tommy Threlfall, the Fylde Council representative for the scheme added: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside the team at Fylde Council, VBA and the Environment agency throughout this project. The scheme is wholly deserved of this prestigious award, and my thanks go to the whole team in achieving such a successful and sustainable project.”


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