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Fairhaven to Church Scar coastal protection scheme open to the public

VBA, a joint venture between VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC Lavalin’s Atkins business, is delighted to announce that it has completed the final section of the sea defence works at Fairhaven Lake, and the promenade is now open to the public.

VBA was awarded the £22m coastal protection project in 2017 by Fylde Council, to provide new coastal defences and upgraded promenades along the Fylde coast at Fairhaven, Church Scar and Granny's Bay.

The Fairhaven coastal protection scheme involved the replacement of the sea defence walls, as the existing coastal defences were time expired and had been failing. The previous concrete defences were built in the 1890s and had been undergoing emergency repairs every year to prevent a major breach. 

This scheme mitigates the impact of extreme weather and climate change by protecting 2,400 residential properties from coastal erosion and flooding. VBA also raised the defences to withstand a 1-in-200-years storm event, whilst having a lifespan of 100 years, taking into account predicted sea level rises. 

Further to Fylde Council securing a £21.4m grant from the Environment Agency, VBA delivered the initial scope seven months early and £2.3m under the Project Appraisal Report estimate. This enabled the client to instruct £3.65m of additional work, including replacing the sea wall at Granny’s Bay. VBA completed all the works under budget, and ahead of the contract completion date of December 2020.

During an opening event on Monday 20 July, Councillor Thomas Threlfall, the Council appointed representative for the Fairhaven and Church Scar Sea Defence project board, said: “What we see along the shoreline today is beyond my wildest dreams. I want to thank the fantastic team at Fylde Council and VBA for all of their hard work, which has been complimented many a time already from residents and visitors to the area. Work to be proud of.”

Councillor Roger Small, chair of the operational management committee said: “The formal handover yesterday at Stanner Bank was the perfect opportunity to thank the contractor for finishing the work to such a high standard and ahead of schedule. The newly completed scheme has already been praised by members of the public as well as the government commissioning agencies. We are delighted this is now officially open.”

“We are very proud of the work we’ve completed in partnership with Fylde Council. Our work provides new coastal protection and an upgraded promenade. We’ve already had some fantastic feedback from local residents, which is testament to the effort and hard work of the project team.”

Mark Cronshaw Framework director for VBA

The completed works have received compliments from residents and visitors alike. A recent comment sent direct to the project’s dedicated customer experience coordinator read: “We hardly knew you were there, which is a testament to the workforce and management, considering the work lasted for such a long time and took place in all weather.”

This stretch of promenade can now be used for exercise, however please continue to practise social distancing when using the promenade, and observe other health and safety notices.