Wirral launches Hoylake Beach consultation

Amid an ongoing bitter dispute over the management of Hoylake Beach, Wirral Council launches a new round of public consultation. Tony McDonough reports

Hoylake Beach
Hoylake Beach in Wirral is the subject of a public consultation. Picture by Tony McDonough


Wirral Council has launched a public consultation outlining two possible options for the future management of Hoylake Beach.

It says a “fundamental consideration” in developing the new Hoylake Beach Management Plan are the life-saving operations of the RNLI and their ability to continue to launch and operate lifeboats from the Hoylake foreshore.

Until 2019 the authority had been using the pesticide glyphosate to keep the spread of vegetation on the beach in check. However, strong objections led to the end of this practice and since then the volume of vegetation has spread significantly.

Some local people say this has made the beach a less attractive place to visit and walk on but others say letting nature take its course is the right thing to do. The debate has caused bitter divisions locally. Wirral Council is proposing two options:

Option1: Access for All

This proposes the removal of 1.92 hectares of vegetation primarily around the RNLI lifeboat station.

It also includes  the slipways at King’s Gap, Alderley Road, and Trinity Road; a 10m wide strip along the seawall from Clydesdale Road to King’s Gap extending around the Alderley Road slipway and Trinity Road steps and a 10m wide cleared strip from King’s Gap through the vegetation to the sandy beach.

Option 2: Amenity Beach

This proposes the removal of just over three hectares of vegetation, similar to the Access for All option, but with a larger area of ‘amenity’ beach being provided towards Trinity Road.

Both options being put forward include proposals for differing levels of vegetation removal in order that some amenity space can be retained at the beach and that safe access can be provided for the RNLI for their life-saving operations.

Maps showing a visual representation of what both options would look like are available on the council’s consultation website, as are other related documents and information.

Information will also be available to view in person as they will be displayed at Hoylake Community Centre on consecutive Tuesdays – February 27 and March 5, between 9am and 6pm in the mini hall.

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The online survey residents should complete to say which their preferred option is on the consultation website. Click here. The closing date for submissions is 25th March 2024.

A report, including feedback on the consultation, will go to the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee meeting due in April 2024.

Both options remain subject to further detailed Habitat Regulation Assessments (HRAs) and other evidential reports pending assent from Natural England.

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