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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Walney residents fear losing homes as sea defence delayed again

CONSTRUCTION of permanent sea defences won by Walney residents following a 10-year fight has been delayed again.

The £300,000 145-metre rock armour defence at West Shore Park, Walney, was due to have been completed by June. Work was originally set to start in February with a completion date of April, but was then pushed back to the end of spring.

It has now been revealed work on the defences will not start until the end of August and is due to be finished on October 17. A decision was made last week to extend the tender submission date by a month.

West Shore Park Residents’ Association chairwoman, Jean Jackson fears the work will not be completed before high tides and winds hit the island in winter. High tides of more than 10 metres are already expected as soon as August.

She said: “There are 330 homes and we don’t want to lose them. Sewage is on the front. We wouldn’t have any sewage. We wouldn’t be able to go to the toilet.

“All the electrics, which are based at the front, would also go down.

“What we want is for it to be done by winter. We won’t last another winter without it. If we get high winds again we wouldn’t be able to stand it. Mid-October is pushing it. “I know last year it was freak weather but we could have the same or worse this year.”

The contract is out to tender with the Environment Agency’s select list of suppliers. The tender return date has been pushed back to July 4 after which the successful company will need approval by the executive committee on July 30.

Design approval as well as health and safety is then due to be signed off on August 22 with work then expected to take eight weeks.

Barrow Borough Council technical support unit manager Richard Hennah said: “I totally appreciate the frustration the residents have with the continuing delays to the installation of the permanent coastal defence.”

A temporary, emergency defence was installed in March. A more permanent defence should last 20 years.

Mr Hennah added: “The swift installation of the temporary defence illustrates the speed the council can deliver a project when an emergency process can be followed but for the permanent defence there are significantly more stakeholders to be considered.

“The latest delay of extending the tender submission deadline was made when it became clear contractors had other national priorities on their workload leading them to refuse to quote unless an extension was given.”

Barrow Borough Councillor for Walney North, Tony Callister said: “A lot of people, including myself, have had sleepless nights over this. It’s a major frustration.”

The site was sold by Embra UK to Berkeley Leisure Group on April 10. The new owners have promised to honour the financial commitment of £105,000 promised.

Have your say

How is it,that some coastal area around the Med have had there sea defences strengthened
whereas,the Brits are always last in line when it comes to the Club spending money on any thing British.
The Big club helped them selves to our sea stocks while our fishermen went bust,now it looks like massive coastal errosian will
decimate parts of our coast,while the rest of many EU nations will stand idly by and watch from the stands,with empty coffers.
One rule for the rest of the EU,Britain doesn't count.
Though we contributed to others coastal
defences of the EU.

Posted by Dicky on 5 June 2014 at 18:38

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