Hoylake and West Kirby beaches

John H Hutchinson made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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John H Hutchinson

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
I apologise for the length and complexity of this request. If you prefer, I shall withdraw it and make several smaller requests.

All parts of my request for information relate to the accumulation of sand and silt on Hoylake beach with some related diversions to West Kirby beach.

The vegetation that is growing on Hoylake beach might be advantageous and might be disadvantageous. For example, it traps windblown sand that might encourage diversity of habitat or the trapped sand might be increasing the rate of change of beach height that will have further consequences.

1.Does the vegetation reduce the severity of storm waves by increasing the friction between water and beach?

2. Does the vegetation stop or hinder the accumulation of sand on the beachside roads?

3.If, as in recent years, the beach height increases, will the roads become increasingly inundated giving rise to extra costs for Council in its removal and unblocking of drainage systems?

4.What might be the consequences of allowing the vegetation to grow or of eradicating it?

5.Has Council considered the option of removing sand from the beach?

If so, from which parts?

What loss of amenity should we expect?

6.From where is the extra sand coming?

7.Could North Parade be raised to counter the increasing beach height or is this uneconomical or impossible because of landward properties?

8.Has Council considered the effects of Climate Change on Hoylake beach and West Kirby beach?

9.Is isostasy having an effect on the beach height?

10.If so, with high tides reaching a lower line on the beach and greater exposure of dry sand, will not the amount of wind-blown sand increase and the beach height rise at an increased rate? A double-whammy.

11.Since coming to live in the area in 1986, I have seen that high tide does not go as far up the beach as once it did. This is producing a greater area of dry sand that can be wind-blown further up the beach and over the roads.

What can Council do about this natural process?

12.I have read "The Beaches at West Kirby and Hoylake" (2000). What can Council do about the marine physical processes in Section 3.1 describing how sediment is being brought to our beaches?

How may Council overcome the more likely longer-term accretion of sediment?

13.What effect will the sediment and silt accretion have upon the wave climate and severity of storms that the coastline of Hoylake and West Kirby currently face?

Does this accumulation mean that there is an increased risk of sea flooding to West Kirby and Hoylake?

14.The beach levels of West Kirby and Hoylake are increasing, as evinced by the 2000 report.

Will the increased heigh increase or decrease the risk of sea-flooding to our two towns?

15.As the beach levels rise, what is the effect on the roads' drainage systems?

16.Is the foul water running out of the revetment of North Parade that I have seen, due to drains having been blocked by wind-blown sand?

Is this an increasing event?

Yours faithfully,

John H Hutchinson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hutchinson

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding Hoylake and West Kirby
beaches.

 

All recorded information is available on the dedicated “Have Your Say”
website and also via the information library which provides further
evidence and information regarding the development of a beach management
plan for Hoylake.

 

The Have Your Say site is

[1]Hoylake Beach Information | Have your say Wirral

 

The Information Library is linked from the Have Your Say site and also at

[2]Hoylake Beach Information - Google Drive

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

PO Box 290
Brighton Street
Wallasey
CH27 9FQ

 

Email: [3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

Visit our website: [4]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

References

Visible links
1. https://haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk/hoylak...
2. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1...
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
4. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/

John H Hutchinson

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,
1.The files "Beach Monitoring data" are columns of figures without headings or explanations; for example

0.000,320424.520,388449.770,4.350,
25.000,320408.210,388468.710,3.830,

As each set of numerical characters is followed by a comma, does that mean that the file is a single line of digits with each set split to suit the size of the page? What does this and the other table mean, please?

2.The folders
"Hoylake Beach Management - Committee agenda items"
"Data information and source links"

are not user-friendly and do not conform to the general notion of "consultation" or "information."

3.The information contained in the folder "Environmental" is well known to researchers and should be of interest and value to all enquirers, for which I thank you.

4.The photographs in the folders headed "Photography" are of interest but speaking from the point of view of an observational and empirical scientist with an interest in photography, views showing the relative height of the beach against the revetment that we know as North Parade are missing.

5.The distribution of sand deposits as shown in Section 4.6.2 of "NWSMP Regional Inter-Tidal Sediment Analysis Report 2015" is significant. Is it possible to describe the derivation and evolution of these, please?

Confirmation of the "easterly longshore drift and onshore movement of sediments from within
Liverpool Bay .... produced an easterly migration of the East Hoyle Bank ....... has produced a steady increase in beach volumes (within 1km of the shoreline) since the 1980’s (Coastal
Engineering, August 2015)" is welcome.

Comparative data for the Dee Estuary is as expected and will be informative to those not in the know and fearful for the outcome at Hoylake.

6.There are numerous insignificant typographical errors demonstrating a certain lack of care in completion of "2010 KPAL Report EX1219 Liverpool Bay Sediment Study 29-10-2010" and "KPAL Report EX1218 Cell 11 Sediment Study 13-10-2010" but interpretations compare favourably with 5 above and are as expected.

7.Of interest in some of the "Shoreline Inspection Reports" are observations of beach loss, groyne removal, and unrepaired damage to the sea wall. Reference to windblown sand is recognisable to the casual observer.

The statement "prudent to encourage the generation of sand dunes from the windblown sand" is of great interest. (17.21, 17.23, 17.24, 17.25). I note that these were 1990 observations. Anecdotally, the beach would, today, appear to be higher and closer to the level of North Parade pavement (see 29_020 to 29_027; July 2018) Photograph WC180720_23 refers.

8.The "Shoreline Management Plan" is well known.

9."Tide Levels and Climate Change Sea Level Rise" is extraordinarily relevant with the release of the IPCC report yesterday 9 August 2021. It is deeply regrettable that the table "CFB 2017 Extreme Tide Level Predictions Ch1158 Hoylake" is uninterpretable. Please provide a readily understood translation that all may understand?

The contents of the three folders with titles commencing "UKCP2018 output_Plume of sea level anomalies marine projections UK coastline 2007-2100_20190315 - Dee Mouth RCP...) will be meaningless to the average reader. Please provide interpretations?

10.The documents in the folder "Wirral Coastal Strategy" are in line with my understanding for which I am grateful! Especially "within the eastern Irish Sea basin there is a near bed residual current circulation towards the coast throughout the area, turning south-east towards the Dee and Mersey estuaries and north east towards the Ribble. Surface current flow is, however, eastward off the North Wales coast and northwards off the Lancashire coast. Along the North Wales coast the net drift is from west to east, whilst the remainder of the coastline is largely characterised by a number of drift divides which direct sediment towards the mouths of the estuaries. The nearshore banks and estuaries act as major sinks for sediment. Re-circulation of finer material is believed to occur within Liverpool Bay, which itself acts as a major sink with any material leaving the shoreline between Great Orme’s Head and Morecambe Bay probably accumulating here and being internally redistributed, rather than being moved to other areas offshore or alongshore beyond the limits of the bay."

Unfortunately, I can find no direct responses to any of my requests for information 1 to 16 inclusive and would be grateful if these could receive your attention. If the answers are in the documents provided, then e-links will suffice.

Thank you for your attention. Please accept my apologies for the delayed reply, there is a great deal of reading matter.

Yours sincerely,

John H Hutchinson

John H Hutchinson

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,
Some but not all of the information is on the page to which you refer.

One page is meaningless comprising a series of numbers separated by commas that remind me of code from a spy novel. There are no headings if there are columns, and the numbers have no explanation.

Some of the information is scientific or technical such that only someone with the appropriate background can understand the meaning. A general member of the public will not understand much of what is available.

Not everything is covered. For example "isostasy" if there, is not identifiable.

I have asked to have parts of the data explained but have been ignored.

The page is neither information nor consultation in the generally accepted meanings of those words.

Yours sincerely,

John H Hutchinson

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Hoylake and West Kirby beaches'.

I shall be grateful to receive answers to those parts of Council's response, which I have listed, that do not cover my original request for information.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

Yours faithfully,

John H Hutchinson

John H Hutchinson

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Hoylake and West Kirby beaches relating to its failure to conduct an internal review of my FoIA request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

Yours faithfully,

John H Hutchinson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hutchinson

 

Thank you for your recent email in which you state the following:

 

‘I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Hoylake and West Kirby beaches'. I
shall be grateful to receive answers to those parts of Council's response,
which I have listed, that do not cover my original request for
information.’

In an earlier email dated 10 August 2021, you listed 10 comments in
response to the FOI response provided by this Council which had directed
you to the Hoylake Beach Information data repository. Your email of 10
August 2021 also stated:

‘Unfortunately, I can find no direct responses to any of my requests for
information 1 to 16 inclusive and would be grateful if these could receive
your attention. If the answers are in the documents provided, then e-links
will suffice.’

This internal review is therefore based upon the original FOI and 16
questions listed. The listed questions are below with our reviewed
response highlighted in bold:

 

 

1.Does the vegetation reduce the severity of storm waves by increasing the
friction between water and beach?  The Council does not currently hold
this information.

2. Does the vegetation stop or hinder the accumulation of sand on the
beachside roads? The Council does not currently hold this information but
has commissioned an Ecology and Geomorphology Study for Hoylake which will
be made available on the Hoylake Beach Information website. The Study will
consider how the developing ecology at Hoylake impacts on geomorphology.

3.If, as in recent years, the beach height increases, will the roads
become increasingly inundated giving rise to extra costs for Council in
its removal and unblocking of drainage systems? -The Council does not
currently hold this information but has commissioned an Ecology and
Geomorphology Study for Hoylake which will be made available on the
Hoylake Beach Information website. The Study will consider how the
developing ecology at Hoylake impacts on geomorphology including beach
levels.

4.What might be the consequences of allowing the vegetation to grow or of
eradicating it? The Council does not currently hold this information but
has commissioned an Ecology and Geomorphology Study for Hoylake which will
be made available on the Hoylake Beach Information website. The Study will
consider how the developing ecology at Hoylake impacts on geomorphology.
The Study will consider a Do Nothing and Do Everything approach.

5.Has Council considered the option of removing sand from the beach? If
so, from which parts? What loss of amenity should we expect? - The
Council will shortly be consulting on options for the future management of
Hoylake Beach

6.From where is the extra sand coming? -This information can be found in
the data library for Hoylake Beach information – see response provided on
10th August 2021

7.Could North Parade be raised to counter the increasing beach height or
is this uneconomical or impossible because of landward properties? -
Management options for Coastal Defence are contained in the Wirral Coastal
Strategy which forms part of the data library for Hoylake Beach
Information website – see response provided on 10th August 2021

8.Has Council considered the effects of Climate Change on Hoylake beach
and West Kirby beach? - Climate change was considered during the
development of the Shoreline Management Plan and Wirral Coastal Strategy.
These documents form part of the data library for Hoylake Beach
Information website – see response provided on 10th August 2021

9.Is isostasy having an effect on the beach height? - The Council does not
currently hold this information but has commissioned an Ecology and
Geomorphology Study for Hoylake which will be made available on the
Hoylake Beach Information website.

10.If so, with high tides reaching a lower line on the beach and greater
exposure of dry sand, will not the amount of wind-blown sand increase and
the beach height rise at an increased rate? A double-whammy. - The Council
does not currently hold this information but has commissioned an Ecology
and Geomorphology Study for Hoylake which will be made available on the
Hoylake Beach Information website.

11.Since coming to live in the area in 1986, I have seen that high tide
does not go as far up the beach as once it did. This is producing a
greater area of dry sand that can be wind-blown further up the beach and
over the roads. What can Council do about this natural process? - The
Council has commissioned an Ecology and Geomorphology Study for Hoylake
which will be made available on the Hoylake Beach Information website. The
Council will also be consulting on future management options for Hoylake
beach

12.I have read "The Beaches at West Kirby and Hoylake" (2000). What can
Council do about the marine physical processes in Section 3.1 describing
how sediment is being brought to our beaches? How may Council overcome
the more likely longer-term accretion of sediment? - The Wirral coast is
managed based on the strategic policies and management actions set out in
the Shoreline Management Plan and Wirral Coastal Strategy. These documents
form part of the data library for Hoylake Beach Information website – see
response provided on 10th August 2021

13.What effect will the sediment and silt accretion have upon the wave
climate and severity of storms that the coastline of Hoylake and West
Kirby currently face? Does this accumulation mean that there is an
increased risk of sea flooding to West Kirby and Hoylake? - Please refer
to the Shoreline Management Plan and Wirral Coastal Strategy. These
documents form part of the data library for Hoylake Beach Information
website – see response provided on 10th August 2021

The Council has commissioned an Ecology and Geomorphology Study for
Hoylake which will be made available on the Hoylake Beach Information
website. The Study will consider how the developing ecology at Hoylake
impacts on geomorphology and in turn how geomorphological change impacts
on future flood risk.

14.The beach levels of West Kirby and Hoylake are increasing, as evinced
by the 2000 report. Will the increased heigh increase or decrease the
risk of sea-flooding to our two towns? - Please refer to the Shoreline
Management Plan and Wirral Coastal Strategy. These documents form part of
the data library for Hoylake Beach Information website – see response
provided on 10th August 2021

The Council has commissioned an Ecology and Geomorphology Study for
Hoylake which will be made available on the Hoylake Beach Information
website. The Study will consider how the developing ecology at Hoylake
impacts on geomorphology and in turn how geomorphological change impacts
on future flood risk.

15.As the beach levels rise, what is the effect on the roads' drainage
systems? - See response to Question 3

16.Is the foul water running out of the revetment of North Parade that I
have seen, due to drains having been blocked by wind-blown sand? - The
Council has commissioned an Ecology and Geomorphology Study for Hoylake
which will be made available on the Hoylake Beach Information website. The
Study will consider how the developing ecology at Hoylake impacts on
geomorphology. The study will also consider any likely impact on
groundwater flood risk. The associated monitoring of water levels also
includes monitoring of parameters relating to water quality.

We trust that this now clarifies the Council’s position and should you
remain dissatisfied, you should contact the Information Commissioners
Office at [1]www.ico.org.uk

Yours sincerely

 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

PO Box 290

Brighton Street

Wallasey

CH27 9FQ

Email:[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

Visit our website: [3]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

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John H Hutchinson

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

thank you!

Yours sincerely,

John H Hutchinson