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What is a Strategy Study?Article by Graham Lymbery, Technical Services, Sefton Council
A strategy study provides a framework for developing, appraising and implementing flood and coastal defence works in a logical manner where, for example:
The study is carried out in four parts:
Part 1 has been completed, it is available for download at www.sefton.gov.uk (search for coast protection).
The final report is used as a working document and reviewed every five years based on the latest information available.
What issues will we consider during the development of the Coastal Defence Study?
A Brief History of the Area
The above description, written over 150 years ago is surprisingly apt at the present date and vividly illustrates that coast erosion at Formby is not just a recent phenomenon.
Even more surprising perhaps is the phase of rapid coastal accretion around Formby Point, which must have commenced immediately following the above report and lasted until around 1900, when marine erosion again began to take its toll and has continued to date.
The River Alt
Within the total catchment area of 89 square miles there are about 20 square miles of rich agricultural fenland which could be ruined by high tides if special attention were not given to its damage. Just when this lowland area was won from the sea is not known but it is believed that the works were carried out by local monks in the 13th Century and by the Dutch in the 17th Century. The earliest written records are dated 1779, when an Act was passed for "Draining, improving and preserving the lowlands, in the Parishes of Altcar, Sefton, Halsall and Walton-upon-the Hill, in the County Palatine of Lancaster".
North of Mariners Road, the foreshore was very much under the influence of the River Alt until the river was diverted in 1936. Severe erosion became a problem at Blundellsands from about 1910 as the River Alt migrated southwards along the coastline scouring land from the beach and creating a steep sand cliff which during storm periods receded landwards. All the houses on the seawards side of Burbo Bank Road had to be vacated as land was lost and all attempts at artificial stabilisation by the placement of slag and rubble failed.
What Are We Doing Next?
We've completed part of the study and have identified a number of actions for part 2 (shown below). We will submit Part 1 to DEFRA (Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) who are the funding body and ask of approval to carry on with Part 2.
Extend Study Area
Investigate Tipped Rubble
Expand the Existing Wave Model
Survey of Sea Wall
What happens when we finish?When completed the Strategy Study will make recommendations about work that is required on this frontage, what form it will take (i.e. rock armour) and when it will be required. It will also detail any further or ongoing monitoring that will be required.
This document will be submitted to DEFRA for 'Approval in Principle' which means that they will give broad approval to the management approach but we will still need to make detailed grant applications for works.
The completed Strategy Study will provide a comprehensive coastal defence managment strategy for the length of coast from Crosby Marine Lake to Formby Point
Further InformationFor any questions contact Graham Lymbery on:
Tel:0151 934 2960
If you would like a full copy of the Part 1 report on CD-ROM please email or write to: