Will the flood wall spoil the view?

The design of a flood wall is primarily based on its effectiveness at reducing flood risks, however the initial consultation identified that positioning the wall at the roadside will maintain the view of the lake and the estuary for all promenade users.

What are the extents of the works?

The works will go from the junction of South Parade and Riversdale Rd in the north to Sandy Lane at the south end of the Marine Lake.

Will the promenade and South Parade be closed during works?

Some disruption to access will inevitably occur during construction however this will be kept to a minimum. We are not anticipating any closures however advanced traffic management signs will be in place to advise motorists and residents of any disruption as a result of the works.

Will I be able to park near my house during construction?

Some disruption to parking on South Parade will inevitably occur during construction but this will be managed in such a way as to minimize potential impacts. Advanced traffic management signs will be in place to advise motorists and residents of any closures. We will also write to any individual properties impacted.

Where will the site compound be located?

The site compound will be located in the marine lake car park at the north end of South Parade.

Will noise be a problem?

Whilst it is inevitable that construction and the use of heavy machinery will cause unwanted noise, no works will be carried out during unsociable hours.

Will the lake be accessible during construction?

Access to the lake will be available throughout the construction for both lake users and those wishing to walk along the outer lake wall. It is not anticipated that there will be any significant disruption to lake access.

Why not pedestrianise the area?

As well as being popular with visitors and people shopping in West Kirby, vehicle access to South Parade is required by residents.

Will it impact on the sailing centre development?

We have been working with the team responsible for the sailing centre to make sure the flood wall links in with the new development.

How high will the wall be?

The finished wall height will be 1.2m.

Will the wall be reinforced?

Yes, the wall will have sufficient reinforcement to withstand the loading from storm events.

What will it look like?

This consultation will help determine the shape and colour of the wall. Options will be available to view at public consultation events and online.

Will there still be seating?

Yes, seating will be incorporated in the final design.

Will it attract vandalism?

The wall is in a popular area, will be well lit at night and subsequently, the opportunities to vandalise the structure will be reduced. If any vandalism were to occur, however, the Council would remedy the problem as soon as possible.

What will happen to the existing benches?

From the public consultation carried out in 2015 it was clear that the preferred option was for a wall located on the landward side of the promenade meaning the removal of the benches along South Parade in order to accommodate the structure. Seating will be incorporated into the wall design, as will a location for commemorative plaques. Existing dedications will be transferred to new plaques which will then be placed as close to their original location as possible at no cost to the owners. If you have purchased an existing bench on South Parade, please contact WKFA@wirral.gov.uk or a member of the team for further details.

Can I have the bench with my relative’s commemorative plaque on?

If a member of the public wishes to keep their bench and/or plaque the Council will be happy to accommodate this.

Will it be possible to purchase new commemorative plaques?

The final design for the structure will incorporate an area for commemorative and celebratory plaques. Details for purchasing plaques through the Council will be publicised once the design is finalised.

What will happen to the shelters?

The shelters are to be refurbished and moved to new locations along South Parade. One is to be placed near to the new Sailing Centre and the other will be positioned on the area of the ‘old baths’ site.

What will happen to the street lights?

Existing street lighting is to be replaced with new LED lighting.

What will happen to the bins?

The scheme will ensure there are sufficient bins spaced regularly along South Parade. The position of the bins will be accommodated during the design process.

How will you come to the decision after consultation?

We will take into account all the responses we receive to determine the shape of the structure, and the colour of the flood wall and surfacing. A detailed design will then be produced for Planning Permission based on the outcomes and the other factors which influence the decision making process, such as cost, the standard to which property is protected against flooding and environmental impact.

How will the scheme impact on environmental issues other than flooding?

Planning consent will require the approval from Natural England of a Habitat Regulations Assessment to ensure the construction does not damage the Dee Estuary designation. Procurement of the construction phase will require bidders to put together formal proposals to reduce the carbon footprint and keep the scheme as environmentally friendly as possible.

Will the promenade be resurfaced?

The promenade will be resurfaced at the end of the scheme.

How will I access the promenade?

There will be a number of access points through the wall along South Parade. Each access point will be fitted with a flood gate.

Who will close the gates and when?

The council are developing an operational plan to do this but would also welcome involvement from the local community.

What about wheelchair access?

Each access point will be wide enough for wheelchairs; however the proposals also include for the modification of the promenade to incorporate a number of disabled parking bays.

Why are you doing this scheme in West Kirby and not investing money elsewhere on the Wirral?

We take a strategic approach to Flood Risk Management and to delivering schemes when and where the impact has the greatest benefit. The Environment Agency have approved Grant Aid towards the costs of the scheme.

How do you know the scheme will work?

Modelling of tidal events determines the height of the wall in line with national standards. The will stop most of the flooding, most of the time.

What will happen if water gets over the wall?

Any water or spray overtopping the wall will have had its energy dissipated and will no longer travel as waves across the highway and into property. Drain holes may be incorporated into the wall to allow water to drain back toward the lake.

Would the wall have stopped the December 2013 event?

The standard to which the wall is designed is equivalent to the likelihood of a similar event to December 2013.

Could the wall be lower to allow for an improved view from parked cars?

The business case tested a lower wall scenario and found that it was not viable and would not have attracted funding.

How will the flood wall be funded?

Funding for the scheme comes in part from the Government through Grant Aid administered by the Environment Agency and also from the Environment Agency’s Local Levy. As the scheme does not qualify for 100% funding the remainder comes from the Council.

Why is a permanent wall the preferred option?

A permanent wall is considered to be the most effective barrier against tidal energy. This combined with relatively low implementation and maintenance costs make it the best value for money option.

Will a wall prevent flooding / damage?

A flood wall will mean that the road and properties are better protected and that the likelihood of flooding and consequential damage is reduced.

Will the RNLI and Beach Patrols be adversely affected?

The council has been in discussions with West Kirby RNLI regarding the scheme and do not anticipate any impact on them or the Beach Lifeguard operatives.

Will a wall prevent the need for road closures?

A flood wall will mean that the road is better protected and that the likelihood of flooding and closures is reduced

Why not just provide flood barriers for individuals / properties?

This option has been considered but the residual risks remain high because not everyone will install the temporary defences when necessary. Furthermore temporary defences may not prevent the type of damage seen on December 2013.  Given the likely cost of damages that remain with this option it is not the preferred option.

Why not use temporary defences?

This option has been considered but the residual risks remain high because of the risk that there is a failure to install the temporary defences in advance of a flooding incident. A 1km long defence would also need significant resource to deploy and recover for which there would be additional cost. There is also an issue of storage and also the cost of replacing the temporary defence every few years. Taking all these issues into account, this is not the preferred option.

Why not issue sandbags?

In some instances sandbags can be useful but sandbags would not withstand the wave energy during a tidal flood event. Additionally there are also costs and risks associated with deploying and recovering sandbags. This is not the preferred option.

Why is this scheme going ahead when my road / house elsewhere has been flooding for years?

Funding to address flooding issues comes from lots of sources there are systems in place to ensure that the money spent represents value for money – the cost of works must be less than the value of the property protected. Sometimes other agencies also have responsibility for resolving flooding issues and this can make the approach to resolving flooding problems more complex.

Wirral Council has plans in place to secure funding for many flooding locations but these have to be prioritised because there is not enough funding to solve everything at once.

Will it have an impact on my insurance?

The implementation of flood defences should not adversely impact on insurance premiums as it will reduce the likelihood of flooding; however it is advisable to contact your insurers for a definitive answer.

Why wasn’t this carried out when the Marine Lake was improved a few years ago?

The work to the marine lake was urgent in nature and did not come about as part of a planned approach to reducing flood risk. The lake wall was reconstructed in a very short space of time as it was in danger of collapse. To integrate the proposals to reduce flood risk would have increased the time for that project and the risk to the outer wall was too great, that is why the two schemes are separate.