VOTED ON: Major flood wall in in West Kirby which could save lives
How the West Kirby flood wall could look, Image: Wirral Council
Plans for a major flood wall which could save lives in West Kirby are set to be voted on.
On Tuesday, November 2, Wirral Council’s Strategic Applications Sub-Committee will decide whether to give the green light to plans for a 1.2 metre high flood wall, stretching across 1.15km of the Wirral town’s coastline.
The plan is controversial locally, with a petition against it (https://www.change.org) gaining 1,072 signatures at the time of writing.
Making the case against the flood wall, the petition read: “This will reduce the width of the promenade walkway by one third, block coastal views and destroy the open character and heritage of this very special place.
“Please take a moment to measure how high 1.2m actually is.
“The promenade has been enjoyed in the same way by residents and visitors alike since it was designed and constructed over a century ago and we must protect this jewel in the crown of Wirral and Merseyside, but at the same time address flood risk.
“The promenade was built to provide a sense of fresh air, open space, health and well being which is as relevant today as it ever has been. This is a very special place enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors every year.”
On the council’s website, 221 people commented on the proposal, with 198 of them objecting to it and 19 in favour.
However, planning documents prepared for the application show the severity of the flood risk in West Kirby.
One document said: “The present day predicted flood levels show that for a 20% annual exceedance probability South Parade is likely to require closing and external flooding will occur to properties.
“With allowance for climate change in 100 years time the 20% annual exceedance probability is expected to flood over 150 properties internally and South Parade and other local roads will be closed.
“The height of the new wall will be 1.2 metres above ground level, which will reduce flood risk up to the 0.5% annual exceedance probability.”
While not giving a specific figure for potential deaths which could be caused by the flooding if action is not taken, the document continued: “The level of protection on offer by year 100, could potentially reduce the number of assumed fatalities by over 75%.”
Next week’s meeting takes place at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion and starts at 6pm.
You can watch it in-person at the venue, or online through this link (https://wirral.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/612377).
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV