Wirral faces ‘significant flood risk’ from coastal erosion
PROPERTIES and roads around Wirral are at risk from coastal erosion and need urgent work to save them, according to a report.
The Wirral Coastal Strategy is intended to form the basis of the borough’s plans for dealing with flood and coastal erosion risk for the next 100 years.
But there has been no major investment in coastal protection in Wirral since 2001 apart from repairs to West Kirby marine lake in 2008.
Cllr Brian Kenny, Wirral Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said that it was an “important document and highlights some key issues we need to get out there”.
He added: “There are a number of things we need to do over the next few years although one of the problems is Wirral Council also has to find ways to save £100m over the next three years.
“However we need to raise these issues now instead of leaving them and finding we have worse problems in a few years time.”
According to the report, although the existing defences around Wirral “are playing a significant function in reducing the level of flood and coastal erosion risk” they will only be able to continue in the short to medium term.
It said the combination of sea defences deteriorating along with climate change will increase risk in the future and “reconstruction and/or changes in defence arrangements on a significant scale will be required”.
Key areas highlighted include Meols Parade between Hoylake and Meols and South Parade in West Kirby, along with Rock Park in Rock Ferry.
The report said there is “significant flood risk” identified at West Kirby, adding: “Improvement of the level of flood protection will be carried out in the short term by the provision of a secondary defence wall along South Parade constructed in the next five years.”
It also said there is “an immediate requirement” to improve sea defences across Meols Parade “where damage to the existing defences threatens the integrity of residential property and highway infrastructure” and makes the same point for Rock Park, where the conservation area is under potential threat.
The council has been spending approximately £100,000 a year on the maintenance of existing defences.
Cllr Kenny has now approved moves for the report to be the subject of a 12-week consultation.