Fairhaven to Church Scar Coast Protection Scheme revetment.JPG

Fairhaven Coastal Protection Scheme

The purpose of this project was to replace the existing defences, that had deteriorated due to coastal erosion.


The new coastal defences are essential to protect 2,425 properties from waves, generated by 1-in-200-year storms and the predicted rises in sea levels.

What we did

We constructed 2.4km of embankment between Fairhaven and Church Scar in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. This involved installing a new steel pile cut-off wall, in front of the existing stone revetment using an innovative, materials-saving design of circular hollow section piles, alternating with three interlocking piles. We then removed 28,000t of sandstone and concrete from the embankments, before processing it and reusing it as fill.

We then rebuilt the 1.5km-long Fairhaven and Granny’s Bay embankment 0.3m higher, with stepped interlocking precast concrete revetment units, over a new drainage layer.

We used flat, rather than stepped units, on the adjacent 900m-long Church Scar section. All 3,300 units were precast off-site, with plastic-fibre reinforcement and metakaolin cement replacement, giving a thinner cross-section and significantly reducing embodied carbon dioxide.

Project successes

Fylde Council, the Environment Agency and VBA JV (a joint venture of VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business) collaborated to deliver this £21m coastal defence project six months early, under budget and with exceptional client satisfaction.

The completed scheme protects 2,425 residential and commercial properties, schools and other infrastructure from coastal erosion and flooding; it also enhances the environmental quality of coastal areas and has delivered wider benefits to the local economy.

The scheme was shortlisted for the Climate Resilience Project of the Year, in the 2020 British Construction Industry Awards and is featured on the NEC Users Group Forum, as a best practice case study.