North Wirral coastal defence scheme completed

29 September 2022
Drone footage of the works to strengthen the north Wirral embankment
Drone capture of the coastal defence works - photo: Geoff Oldfield / Mersey Images

More than 1,250 homes and businesses close to the north Wirral coast will enjoy greater protection from the risk of flooding after works to strengthen the sea embankment were successfully completed this summer.

These properties in Leasowe, Moreton and Meols will be better protected for at least the next 30 years after a 1.1km stretch of the embankment was bolstered by the installation of more than 7,000 tonnes of rock at its ‘toe’.

In a scheme funded by a grant of nearly £1.4m from the Environment Agency, the new rock defence will protect the embankment from coastal erosion that was threatening the integrity of the existing structure, potential putting 1,269 properties in the three areas of north Wirral at risk of catastrophic flooding from the sea.

The works, which were carried out by a firm of specialists - Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK - took place over the summer and were completed at the end of August, on time and within budget.

The foreshore directly in front of the embankment is internationally designated as conservation and environmental importance and the works were carried out in line with Planning Consent and Marine Licence conditions.

Over the next 30 years it is estimated the works will provide more than £58 million in flood risk reduction benefits for the investment of just £1.36 million.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, said:

Wirral Council has long-standing policies and strategies in place to manage and maintain our shoreline to protect, not just life and property, but also the significant environmental designations that covers much of our coastline.

The need for work to strengthen the toe along the Wallasey embankment was first identified in the Wirral Coastal Strategy that was approved nine years ago to mitigate the impacts of the Meols channel running along the toe near to Leasowe Lighthouse. Delivering on that work and putting this additional protection in place is a real achievement.

Ollie Hope, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside, added:

The Environment Agency is delighted to have worked with Wirral Council on this significant investment to the North Wirral coast. This new scheme will better protect North Wirral now and for future generations as sea levels rise and storms become more extreme because of climate change.

We are proud to be a partner on this scheme and look forward to supporting Wirral Council on future projects to better protect communities from flooding.

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Courtesy of Geoff Oldfield/Mersey Images