A GREAT deal of work has been done to try to ensure the efficient management of the local shoreline by a number of organisations representing a whole variety of interests.
The North West England and North Wales Shoreline Management Plan 2 final report has recently been published and which covers the whole of the Sefton coastline.
Formby Parish Council took part in the public consultation phase and submitted a response to the draft recommendations.
The consultation which is focused on coastal protection and defences is primarily driven by the local authorities and the Environment Agency and draws up plans to manage the coast for the next 20 years, 20 to 50 years and 50 to 100 years.
The original recommendation for the Formby dunes was that this section of the coast was for ‘no active intervention’.
The definition of that is that no action be taken to maintain existing defences or prevent nature from taking its course where the land is not defended.
The Parish Council took the view that this was unacceptable, given the fact that Sefton Council themselves had taken measures, which we support, to stabilise the dunes, and grants had been received to plan for managing coastal change.
So we are pleased that the final plan announced has been amended to reflect more accurately the measures currently being undertaken, and which we would wish to see continued into the future.
The final recommendation is that the policy for this part of the coast be changed to ‘Managed Realignment’ and which we supported during the consultation.
This policy is for the existing defences to be moved inland in a controlled way managing the sand dunes as they naturally move inland.
Sefton Council and the National Trust in Formby both actively manage the dunes and are working to understand how the dunes adapt.
We would have preferred the full policy to use the words ‘active intervention’ but the final wording has been changed from ‘minimal intervention’ to ‘limited intervention’ by the policy team.
The full policy, which is consistent for all three time periods, reads ‘Managed Realignment will allow the dune system to evolve naturally with limited intervention to manage dunes, and manage adaptation in the erosion risk zone (such as relocating paths and car parks), subject to consents’.
The Parish Council wishes to thank the Coastal Defence Officer for Sefton Council, Graham Lymbery, for his advice and information to support our response and to the local manager of the National Trust Formby, Andrew Brockbank, for his guidance and input at the public consultations and to both parties for continuing to give a high priority to the maintenance of the dune system to continue to protect this sensitive natural environment and the inland assets of the local community.
The Parish Council considers it vital that to continue to monitor the work planned for the coastal area and the flood plain on which we live.
Deputy Chair, Formby Parish Council
Letter to the Formby Times