West Kirby Sailing Club’s fireworks display in aid of the RNLI has been cancelled – because the Government’s advisory body for the environment requires an assessment of the risk to wildlife which will take months to prepare.
The event, which has been an annual fixture in the town since 1946, attracts thousands of people and was confirmed earlier this month.
But in a statement issued earlier this week, the Sailing Club revealed they had taken the decision to cancel it ‘due to circumstances beyond our control’.
They added: “Wirral Borough Council (WBC) were unable to approve our application as Natural England have advised them that under the Habitats Regulations, they must carry out a Habitats regulation assessment prior to approval being granted.
“We hope that WBC will be able to complete the assessment as soon as possible so that we can host this community event again in 2022.”
West Kirby beach is classed a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and its use is governed by Natural England, which is the national adviser for the natural environment.
A Wirral Council spokesperson said: “Given the increased focus and attention to coastal issues, particularly in respect of the SSSI status of a significant part of Wirral’s coastline, discussions with Natural England led to them requiring a Habitat Risk Assessment. These take some months to prepare.
“It is the Council’s intention to do all it can to facilitate such displays in the future wherever possible.”