Detailed plans for the new £6 million flood wall set to be built along the length of West Kirby promenade will be officially lodged this week.
It will stretch just over one kilometre along South Parade, between the junctions of Sandy Lane and Riversdale Road.
Changes have been made to the design over the last 18 months following consultation with the public, including alterations to the materials and incorporating seating and memorial plaques into the structure.
The revisions include:
· The wall being redesigned into a long curving seat – akin to a wave – along the whole of South Parade
· The promenade to be finished in a sandy-buff colour, with those colours also extended across onto the footpath on the landward side of South Parade
· Public realm features such as gateways across the highway and onto the promenade at all of the pedestrian access points, highlighted with icons linking to the local environment
· A clearly marked cycle lane
· Timber-slat seating on the bench on the straight parts of the curve
· A circular trail around the promenade and lake, with distance markers counting up and down every 100m
· The original railings are being refurbished and the original shelters renovated and relocated to keep the Victorian heritage
The flood alleviation scheme aims to protect the area from flooding well into the next century.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment Climate Emergency and Transport Committee on Wirral Council, said: “This is a key moment in the timelines of this project and arguably the final remaining obstacle to overcome before work can start.
“It is both exciting and important that those responsible for the delivery of this scheme have been able to incorporate so many of the interesting and innovative suggestions that people have made during the consultations. It is essential that we have carried residents along with us in a supportive way.
“Our location as a peninsula inevitably means we are at more risk of flooding from the sea than many other areas and our responsibility to protect residents, businesses and the local environment from that risk in the long term is one we take very seriously.
“We are delighted to have reached this point of the scheme, supported by local people, which moves us closer to putting the protection in place that is needed here.”
Peter Costello Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency said: “This is a major step for both the project and in our commitment to better protect homes and businesses in West Kirby from flood risk and coastal erosion.
“Climate change and rising sea levels is affecting the way we manage our coasts and estuaries and we must adapt to that change. The Environment Agency is committed to ensuring today’s growth and infrastructure is resilient to tomorrow’s climate by making sure the right investment and planning decisions are made now to secure sustainable environmental improvements – helping us build back better and greener. West Kirby Flood Alleviation Scheme is a good example of how we can do that.”
The project is being funded by Wirral Council and the Environment Agency.