Hoylake beach consultation to begin

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A public consultation begins on Wednesday 29 June for people to express how they would like Hoylake beach to be managed in future.

The issue of whether or not the beach should be raked has divided opinion in the seaside town since it was paused in 2020, following advice from government environment body Natural England.

As we have reported previously, a number of different groups are campaigning for and against it being left to nature.

The six-week consultation process will begin on Wednesday 29 June and run until Wednesday 10 August, and include a questionnaire and drop-in events.

In a statement, Wirral Council said: “Residents and stakeholders will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will seek to find out how people use and view the beach currently and get their comments on how it should be best managed in the future.

“An independent Ecology and Geomorphology survey, carried out last summer and published earlier this year, sets out how Hoylake Beach could change – in terms of beach levels and habitat development – over the next 50 years as a result of natural coastal processes and the effects of sea level rise resulting from climate change.  

“The findings of this report, as well as a discretionary advice document from Natural England and other relevant information that will help inform the consultation exercise, can be found – alongside the online questionnaire that people will be asked to complete – on the council’s consultation website, haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk

“As well as the online information, residents and stakeholders will also have an opportunity to speak with officers in person to get some background information and have any questions answered about the process of developing the new Beach Management Plan.”

The consultation documentation will be published from Wednesday at https://haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk/hoylake-beach-information and paper copies and easy read documentation will also be available.

In-person events will take place at Hoylake Community Centre on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 12 July: 11am – 7pm
  • Wednesday 13 July: 11am – 7pm
  • Thursday 14 July: 11am – 7pm
  • Friday 15 July: 11am – 7pm
Grass at Hoylake beach

Wirral Council added: “The findings of this consultation will assist in the development of the objectives and a range of options for the long-term, sustainable future management of Hoylake Beach. There will be further consultation on a short list of options before councillors agree the preferred Beach Management Plan for Hoylake Beach.

“The plan will be subject to a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA). In order for it to receive assent from Natural England, the management activities considered in the HRA need to align with Natural England’s nature conservation objectives for North Wirral Foreshore Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).”

Wirral Council has previously said the new beach management plan will be implemented from April 2023.

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