Following the recent successful completion of the sea defence works along the coastline between Church Scar and Fairhaven Lake, Fylde Council have obtained funding from the Environment Agency to develop a feasibility study (Outline Business Case) to investigate various options for improving coastal erosion and flood risk management at Pleasure Island, St Annes.
The existing seawall which extends 660m round Pleasure Island, was constructed in 1935, and reduces the risk of coastal erosion and flooding to 252 residential properties and 42 businesses. It is one of three strategic headlands which are critical to maintaining healthy beaches, dunes and to reduce the risk of coastal erosion along Fylde Council’s frontage.
The existing seawall is at the end of its design life and is in poor condition, with frequent spalling evident, resulting in ongoing repairs and maintenance. Voids have previously been identified resulting in settlement of the promenade and slipway. The crest level is low and overtops during storms resulting in damage to the promenade, the flooding of two car parks, the swimming pool and fitness centre plant room, and flooding up to the door thresholds of the cinema, casino, amusement and restaurant complex.
The study area extends from Water’s Edge Café at the northern end, to the southern end of the Miniature Links Golf Course. The objective is to reduce the risk of flooding and erosion to businesses and to protect people’s homes.
The feasibility study is at an early stage, and a number of alternative options are currently being considered, depending on input and feedback from numerous stakeholders including residents, and businesses.
For the project to proceed a feasibility report will be submitted to the Environment Agency for approval in 2021. In line with Government guidance, the report will identify and consider various alternative options in terms of; technical viability, buildability, health and safety impacts, environmental opportunities and impacts (including carbon footprint). It will also include an economic assessment to compare the whole life cost of short-listed options, against their benefits. Following this assessment, a preferred solution will be identified which is likely to obtain approval for Government funding. It is however anticipated, however, that Fylde Council will have to make a substantial capital contribution. More importantly, it will require resident and stakeholder engagement and support.
Subject to approval of the feasibility report, completion of the detailed design and obtaining all necessary consents, licences and approvals, site works could commence as early as spring 2022.
The Council wish to notify all who are potentially affected at an early stage. Whilst we would like the opportunity to host exhibitions and have face to face engagement, due to current Covid-19 restrictions, the options for the scheme will be posted on the Discover Fylde website, for all to view, comment on, and ask questions. They will also be displayed on sign boards at the entrances to the Pleasure Island Promenade. The aim will be to determine the preferred option in the next few weeks and months, for submission to the Environment Agency later this year. This approach, however, will continually be reviewed in line with the Covid-19 restrictions at the time.
Councillor Roger Small, Chair of the Environment, Health and Housing Committee said: “This is a very exciting next stage on our coastal defence works, following on from Church Scar and Fairhaven. We are confident that the Environment Agency will look favourably on this proposed scheme as we have delivered prior ones both on time and on budget. It is important that residents see these proposals in advance so they can make comments and suggestions. This is a valued part of the process as new ideas and suggestions can form a part of a finished scheme.”
The scheme has it’s own dedicated webpage which can be accessed at www.discoverfylde.co.uk/stannesseawall