More than 4000 properties are set to be better protected from coastal erosion in Blackpool. It’s thanks to a new investment of £61 Million for North Shore Coast Protection Works – to replace and upgrade the existing coast defences. It’s hoped that works will begin in 2023.
We went to take a look in mid April ’22, when we heard the good news –
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What are the North Shore Coast Protection Works?
The scheme will see two sections of the sea defences refurbished. 1.5km from Princes Way at Little Bispham to Red Bank Road at Bispham where the cliffs extend to the beach. Plus 1.3 km from Gynn Square to Cocker Square.
The existing defences were constructed in the 1980s. They’ve been regularly maintained however they are now life expired and in need of replacement. These photos were taken adjacent to the tram stop at Little Bispham in April 2022 –
Extensive work has been carried out to identify the best solution for each stretch of coastline. The preferred options that will now be taken to detailed design for each section are:
- Princes Way to Red Bank Road – refurbishing the existing defences. Including reinforced toe protection and reinforced concrete slabs overlaid onto the existing revetment
- Gynn Square to Cocker Square – seabee revetment (as used at South Shore) overlaid onto the existing revetment. Plus landscape / environmental improvements inshore of promenade.
Both schemes will also see –
- improvements to access steps and slipways,
- replacement of the crest wall
- and the introduction of new fishtail rock headlands and groynes.
Improving Blackpool’s Sea Defences
Blackpool Council submitted an Outline Business Case to the Environment Agency. The Council has now been allocated £61.2 million to replace and upgrade coastal defences in Bispham in the north of the town.
In the past 30 years Blackpool Council has already successfully delivered over £150 Million of coastal infrastructure. Here’s a more about just a couple of the many projects –
The work is part of the ongoing Blackpool Coastal Strategy. It was introduced 10 years ago in partnership with the Environment Agency, to protect the resort from the risk of flooding and erosion.
In September 2022, council chiefs are preparing to appoint designers and contractors to take on the next phase of work.
Disruption is expected on the beach as it’s proposed to construct rock headlands and groynes at 100 metre intervals. Therefore an environmental impact assessment will be carried out as part of the planning process.
Protection Against the Sea
This scheme will reduce the risk of erosion to –
- 3,631 households,
- 380 non-residential properties
- and protect strategically important, vital infrastructure, including the tramway.
Replacing the defences now before any erosion of the steep cliffs takes place is important. It will avoid the need for expensive emergency works later down the line.
Cllr Jane Hugo is Cabinet Member for Climate Change. She said: “I’m delighted that this funding has been allocated to Blackpool. The money will allow us to continue our impressive work improving the sea defences. Many coastal communities are experiencing the devastating effects of coastal erosion. It’s critical that we act now to protect the coastline of Blackpool.
“Once complete more than 4000 properties will have protection against future rising of the sea level. The funding will allow us to refurbish the defences. It’s also an opportunity to improve access for users of the beach.
“The project will also bring benefits to the local community in terms of job/ apprenticeship opportunities – another positive outcome.”
Andrew Shore is Area Coastal Engineer for the Environment Agency. He said “We’re delighted to work with Blackpool Council on another significant Fylde Coast investment. It will help to better protect communities, businesses and infrastructure from the future impacts of climate change”
While you’re here…
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