A multi-million pound plan to build a flood defence barrier at West Kirby is set to come to fruition after a successful bid for funding.
Wirral Council submitted the proposals to build a 1.1km floodwall along South Parade in West Kirby to the Environment Agency in the hope of securing Grant Aid for the scheme, which aims to help protect the resort from flooding into the next century.
That bid has been approved meaning the £3m scheme can now progress to the next phase, which will once again involve residents in helping to influence detailed plans as to how the barrier will look and fit in with the needs of the area.
Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, welcomed the news, saying: “Our location as a peninsula inevitably means we are at more risk of flooding than many areas and our responsibility to protect residents, businesses and the local environment from that risk is one we take very seriously.
“The proposal to construct a brand new floodwall that will run the length of the promenade at West Kirby is something we have been developing closely with local people for a number of years and we made a strong case that had a lot of support from within the community.
“We are delighted that the key issue of funding has now been secured and this plan can now move forward and we can put the protection in place that is needed in this location.”
By today’s estimate, up 70 homes and 23 businesses in West Kirby that have a 0.5% chance of flooding in any year will be protected by the new floodwall. Over the next 100 years as climate change continues to cause sea levels to rise, the new floodwall will reduce flood risk to 567 homes and 104 businesses, effectively safeguarding West Kirby town centre from flooding from the sea.
Cllr Brightmore added: “We will soon be inviting submissions from specialists to work with the Council and the local community in developing the detailed design for the scheme ahead of submission for Planning Approval.
“We don’t take the public support for this project for granted and we will certainly be continuing to involve local people further as we move forward. We hope that if all goes to plan, we could be looking at construction starting towards the end of this year.”