West Kirby flood alleviation scheme guidance

How high is the wall?

The seated wall height will be 1.2m.

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 CCTV be installed along South Parade to help deal with any anti-social behaviour in the area?

There is CCTV located on South Parade at the junction with Dee Lane. Subject to future funding being available in the longer term, a further CCTV installation may be considered at the Sailing Club.

The council works with Merseyside Police, and other partners, to address anti-social behaviour. We aim to make sure anyone who  visits Wirral’s open spaces, beaches and parks has a safe and enjoyable time.

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 will be publicised on the council's website.

Is the promenade sloped?

There are slopes called crossfalls which are necessary to allow for water run-off. The crossfall of the promenade - from the existing lake wall up to the new flood wall - is part of the design of the scheme. It is to ensure the required minimum level of flood defence across the length of the promenade.

What other improvements have taken place?

A refurbishment of the site of Old Baths opposite Hilbre Court, near to the RNLI lifeboat station, has provided a new public performance and exhibition space. It provides a new attraction on the promenade for locals and visitors to enjoy.

The promenade, road and footpaths have been resurfaced and a new dedicated cycle lane installed. Brand new street lighting infrastructure, with new cables and ducting, and columns, and modern energy-efficient LED lanterns have been installed. This new infrastructure will significantly improve the efficiency and appearance of the street lighting provision along South Parade.

New solar-powered bins have been installed to help manage litter and collection of it. The enclosed bins are the first of their kind to be installed in Wirral. They will use solar power to compact the waste and alert the council when they need to be emptied.

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

Strict rules were followed to avoid damage to the environment. Bird populations were monitored to make sure the works did not disturb them.

Will the wall be reinforced?

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

How will I access the promenade with the wall in place?

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 receives sufficient notice for flooding incidents and has an operational plan in place for closing and opening the gates. Our highways team will be operating the flood gates.

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 road and into property. Overtopped or surface water will drain using existing highway drainage.

When did the project receive planning permission?

The scheme was presented at the Strategic Planning Sub Committee on the 2 November 2021 at 6pm. The scheme received approval from that committee.

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.

How is the project funded?

Funding for the scheme comes in part from the Government through Grants administered by the Environment Agency. As the scheme does not qualify for 100% funding the remainder comes from the council. The North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee also contributed to the project.

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 or 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 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 or 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 or 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.

Construction Works

Will I still be able to access my property?

Access will be maintained to properties at all times. Traffic management will be in place throughout the works and will have an operative at each end of the working area who will stop works as required and direct residents along the residential footpath.

Will I still be able to park on the road?

In order to undertake the work safely, sections of the road will be closed to all non-construction traffic including parking. Advanced notification will be provided of any closures, and we will endeavour to open the sections of road as soon as feasibly possible. 

Will there be any changes to bin collections?

Bin collection will take place as usual. When we are working outside residential homes, our team will move bins from residential gates to outside of the working area and return once collection is completed.

Will I still be able to have visitors and deliveries to my home?

Deliveries and visitor access will be maintained at all times. This will be done under the same conditions as residents accessing their home under the guidance of our traffic Marshalls.

What hours will the works take place, will it be noisy?

Our working hours are Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm, and Saturday 8am – 1pm. We do not anticipate to work Saturday’s however will notify you if necessary. With this type of construction work noise is to be anticipated, however we will do all we can to minimise this as much as possible. Noise monitors will be in place to ensure that we are working within the permitted limit.

Will the works damage my property?

No damage is anticipated to be caused by the construction work. It is however standard practice with this type of work for pre-construction surveys to be undertaken. An independent surveyor will arrange a mutually convenient time to undertake a photographic survey to the properties identified as being closest to the construction work. We are able to share a copy of this report with you should you wish.

Vibration monitors will also be in place close to properties as the works are undertaken, with strict tolerances in place that we must work within.

Will the promenade and South Parade be closed during works to visitors?

In order to safely undertake the work, the promenade and South Parade will need to be closed in sections as the works progress. Closures will only be in place during working hours (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) and the gates will be removed each evening and on the weekend. During the closures only residents will have vehicle and pedestrians access. 

We will endeavour to open up both the promenade and South Parade as quickly as possible upon completion of high-risk activities.

Where will the construction vehicles and materials be set up and stored?

The main storage of materials will be in the site compound located in Dee Lane car park next to Morrisons, with a further material compound being located adjacent to the West Kirby Household Recycling Centre off Greenbank Road. Materials will only be brought to location as and when required and all traffic movements will be planned outside of busy periods wherever possible.

Can the lake and circular path still be used?

For the majority of the time yes. There are no promenade works between the north of the lake (opposite the compound) until past the slipway. There will be an upstand wall constructed later in the project.

At the south, there will also be access as this slipway will have some construction works later in the project. Access will be maintained at all times for the RNLI.

Will the RNLI and Beach Patrols be affected?

The council has had discussions with both the Coastguard and the RNLI regarding the scheme. Beach Patrols will not be affected during the works. We have met regularly with West Kirby RNLI and have formulated a plan with their assistance, to temporarily relocate them for a period of the construction. The RNLI will return to their base at the end of the project.

Where can I park?

From mid-July 2023, half of Dee Lane car park will be open to motorists.

The nearest alternative large public car park is at West Kirby Concourse, accessed from Orrysdale Road. This car park is pay and display.

What is the best way to get to West Kirby?

Consider using public transport to visit West Kirby whilst the construction of the wall takes place.

West Kirby train station is conveniently located in the centre of West Kirby with the beach just a 5-minute walk away. There are also a number of bus services that start and terminate at West Kirby.

The Merseytravel website provides the latest information on bus and train times and tickets available