A Wirral golf club looks like it has won its battle to keep the sea at bay - for the time being.
An application by Caldy Golf Club for the maintenance of existing rock armour coastal defences on the banks the River Dee has been backed by council planners, who said the scheme would not harm the Green Belt or surrounding sites of international and local importance for nature conservation.
A special report to Thursday’s meeting of Wirral planning committee discloses that continued erosion of the Dee cliffs is actually essential for their many geological features, which help support a wide variety of plants and insects.
And they warn: “In the long-term works such as this – which only protect from tidal damage – can only slow erosion, rather than stopping it.
“Eventually the golf club will have to decide when the only practical way forward is to create additional playing area on fields owned inland to the clubhouse.”
After initially objecting to the proposal, Natural England withdrew its opposition following submission of further supporting information and completion of a habitat assessment on behalf of the council.
Rock armour was previously placed at the site over a period from 1989 to 1993. While minor stone repacking has been carried out since then, the current proposal would trigger a significant maintenance operation.
It would involve repacking of dislodged rock and the placing of large quantities of bedstone and rock armour.
Recommending approval for the scheme, planners say one of its benefits would be the reinstatement of larger rocks that had spilled onto the beach, creating minor eyesores.
They say that overall, the proposed development would not spoil the appearance of the "area of special landscape value," nor harm its character.