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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Go-ahead given to construct sea defences on battered Barrow coast

A SEA defence designed to provide 20 years of protection to a stretch of eroding coastline has been given the go-ahead.

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battered High tides hit West Shore Caravan Park in January, causing residents to be evacuated due to flooding. Work to build a sea defence has been put on hold again HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50057759B014

Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee yesterday granted the construction of a 145-metre rock “armour” coastal protection scheme at West Shore, opposite West Shore Park, near Earnse Bay.

Chairwoman Councillor Ann Thomson told the meeting in Barrow Town Hall: “It’s to be congratulated that everybody has worked together to get it. It’s desperately needed.”

It was noted in the mid 2000s that erosion rates along the park frontage were higher than other parts of the coastline and the grass verge was eroding at around 1.2 metres a year.

Barrow Borough Council subsequently built a temporary rock sloping structure along around 50 metres of the frontage to provide some protection while an application was for Environment Agency for this new defence.

The new defence will have a lifespan of 20 years to allow the council, park owners and residents time to plan a longer-term strategy for managing the eroding coastline once the defences are removed.

Councillor Brendan Sweeney told the meeting: “It’s important to emphasise it’s only a 20-year project and I really would like to see a permanent sign there to say that, so that people in the future have no doubts. It’s a holding measure to allow something to be sorted out. When you look at the damage and the weather, it’s not something that’s sustainable indefinitely. This is only good for 20 years.”

Meanwhile at South End Caravan Park, Walney, Barrow council executive director Phil Huck yesterday met with residents and businesses threatened with coastal erosion at the south of the island.

Following productive talks, a meeting was arranged for expert Mark Ellis, principal coastal engineer for Capita Symonds, to assess how a plan to raise a narrow road, which becomes flooded at high tides, can be made workable.

Councillor Frank Cassidy, who attended, said: “There were some interesting and resourceful ideas agreed and we’re still determined to find a solution to erosion problems at the south end.”

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