Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
'Spirit of the Blitz' helps restore storm-lashed New Brighton to normality
Storm-battered New Brighton has been restored to normality by a ‘Spirit of the Blitz’ according to council regeneration chief Cllr Pat Hackett.
The resort was in crisis after gale-force winds and a major tidal surge sent waves crashing over the sea defences and flooding across the promenade and Marine Point commercial development.
But fears that shopping outlets, restaurants and entertainment venues would be seriously hit in the run-up to Christmas were allayed following a massive clean-up operation involving local authority staff, contractors, emergency services, a major power company, staff from developers Neptune and local businesses and a small army of volunteers.
Councillor Hackett said: “The Spirit of the Blitz was very much in evidence which was great to see.
“Everyone involved did an outstanding job to such an extent that almost all of the businesses hit by the storm have re-opened.”
Volunteers helped clear away debris from New Brighton
Councillor Hackett said that lessons would be learned from what had happened. But he rejected claims that the Marine Point venture should never have been built at its seafront location.
The New Brighton Heritage Action Group, who successfully opposed the original plan for the resort’s regeneration claimed that the flooding and devastation caused by the storm had been a “tragic but sadly predictable event.”
Councillor Hackett said: “The Action Group never came up with any alternative proposals or ideas and it was foolish to say that no other developers – apart from Neptune – were interested.
“We had interest from eight developers and yet no-one else had the capability or passion to do it. Neptune have done a fantastic job and people have voted with their feet to make the project an outstanding success.
“During the summer traffic was backed up to the motorway trying to get into New Brighton.”
He added: “On the question of sea defences, lessons will be learned and options will be looked at .
“But siting the development at Marine Point was a risk worth taking. It has been a great success and we are looking for more investment in the future.”
Such was the power of the sea last week that sections of railings and feet-thick concrete tide-breaks were ripped apart with debris scattered across the promenade at West Kirby, Hoylake and Meols, forcing road closures.
New Brighton’s championship adventure golf course is likely to be closed for at least two months after it was all but washed away.
Following the tidal onslaught Proprietor Nick Ashfield confessed: “It looks more like a swimming pool than a miniature golf course.
"It was just unbelievable. I could not imagine in my worst dreams what was happening.”
Comments are closed on this article.