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Wyre's coastal defence scheme is best option for Rossall

Rossall seawall artists impression 3 Published Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme provides the best option for sea defences on this challenging area of coastline.

In response to Fleetwood Renewable Energy Enterprise's proposal for a Sea Defence and Tourist Plan (SDT Plan) in Fleetwood, as an alternative to Wyre Council's plans for new sea defences at Rossall, we'd like to address some issues that have been raised and allay concerns.

The sea defences at Rossall protect over 8,000 very low lying properties and have been recognised nationally as one of the highest risk and most important areas for improvement in England.

The SDT Plan proposes a tidal lagoon which is an entirely different proposition to providing coastal defences to a very vulnerable stretch of coastline like Rossall and is not a realistic proposition for coastal defences in that area.

The area is subjected to some of the highest waves and currents on the Fylde Coast. We’ve undertaken detailed analysis and found that it is not viable to consider protecting the area with a mobile beach alone. The retention of such a beach can't be assured through storms and would need resupplying at regular periods.

The council's plan, Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme (RCDS), is fully approved by the Environment Agency following a rigorous review and fully funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which has committed £64m towards the scheme.

It will see the creation of a lower rock revetment, a robust structure that will stand up to the harsh environment and won't be lost during storms. We've consulted widely on the scheme and taken into account the views of residents plus promenade and beach users.

The RCDS provides the best solution for this length of coastline and has been selected from many options put forward. There is no option to provide something different with the money allocated by DEFRA.

There are currently no available funding opportunities through government sources for the type of proposal put forward by Fleetwood Renewable Energy Enterprise. There are possibilities for private funding initiatives that Fleetwood Renewable Energy Enterprise may seek and, if successful, the wider benefits for coastal defence, tourism and job creation will be fully supported by the council.

Planning permission has been granted for the Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme and construction will commence in the new year.

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