Fylde Council’s Executive Committee have accepted the officer recommendation not to proceed with the St Annes Seawall capital scheme at present, due to projected significant cost increases from the initial budget and the inherent risk levels remaining in the project.
Recent detailed design work indicates that the scheme would cost more than double the figure outlined in the original business case from 2021, from £12.11m to £27.28m. Much of this increase can be attributed to the rising costs of materials caused by inflation, as well as the detailed development of the design and accommodating stakeholder requirements.
The decision has been made to suspend the delivery of the project, whilst still attempting to obtain a marine license and planning permission, and to review the project in 2030 in line with Fylde Council’s Strategic Appraisal Report which recommends replacement of the St Annes Seawall by 2033.
Officers will instead work to progress delivery of the St Annes Island Masterplan, working with funders, local businesses and all stakeholders to bring forward the vision for the development of the site.
Cllr Tommy Threlfall, Fylde Council’s Lead Member for Environment, said: “It is with much regret we have had to make this decision, as due to circumstances beyond our control, the project is now beyond our current financial reach. We remain fully committed to protecting the Island strategic headland, which not only defends 510 local properties and businesses from flooding and coastal erosions, but maintains healthy beaches and dunes along the coast.
“Pushing forward with the seawall project under present conditions would not represent good value for money for our ratepayers, but it’s important to note that this is a suspension, not a cancellation of the project. We proudly remain committed to replacing the St Annes Seawall by 2033, as documented in the Fylde Council Strategy Appraisal report, and will use this time to hold discussions with local stakeholders on how best to progress both this scheme and the St Annes Island Masterplan as a whole.”
For more information about the St Annes Town Centre and the Island Masterplan, please visit the Fylde Council website here: https://new.fylde.gov.uk/stannesregen/
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