The promenade in Hoylake could look very different in the future as part of plans to revitalize the seaside town.
Hoylake Vision, a community forum based in the town of Wirral, said the promenade was in poor condition, adding that there were no toilets and very few other facilities for visitors. The group, which is made up of more than 160 volunteer residents and businesses, seeks the opinions of local people on its ideas and asks them to contribute their own.
Last month, ECHO reported that Hoylake Vision’s plan included electric vehicle charging stations and improved accessibility to the promenade, as well as the possibility of a Wildfowl and Wetlands Center to the east of the area. Carr Lane, giving people access to nature. A spokesperson for Hoylake Vision said: “The one issue that stood out above all during our previous consultation was the general perception that the promenade is not realizing its full potential, which for a historic coastal town like Hoylake, really needs to be resolved.
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“At the moment, the promenade is in poor condition; there are no toilets and very few other facilities for visitors and residents and this is one of the main things people would like to see addressed. However, it is also recognized that simply adding more facilities and resurfacing will not suffice; there is an opportunity to address other pressing issues at the same time.
“To this end we have included in the Master Plan and Design Guide and Codes, exciting high level proposals for the introduction of a sustainable drainage system as part of a comprehensive redesign of the promenade between The King’s Gap and the new Lifeboat station.
Arguing for a new drainage system, the spokesperson added: “Sand levels along the foreshore have increased significantly in recent years; about a meter since 1990. It’s a huge accumulation of sand that presents real challenges for windblown sand management as well as drainage.
“Most, if not all, surface water drains are now well below sand level – and broken drain discharges onto the beach from the aging Victorian drainage system are a real problem – with potentially polluted water feeding vegetation growth through the boardwalk wall. So any reimagining of the boardwalk must take these additional challenges into account; it is a technical and environmental challenge as much as an aesthetic and economic one.
The group cannot come up with these ideas, but would like to get support so that the board can get government funding for some of their ideas. You can give your opinion on the plans contained in the new neighborhood development plan (NDP) here.
ECHO spoke to the people of Hoylake to see what they think needs to be done to improve the town. Mr Brown, 70, who did not want to give his first name, said the town needed to be ‘a little livelier’.
He said there was a cinema and other things to do and that the town needed to be brought more to life. Jan Kelly, who did not give his age, referred to a question that has caused a lot of controversy in recent years, saying “sort the beach”.
Ms Kelly also felt that more was needed for the town’s youngsters and that while there was plenty for younger children, there was ‘nothing’ for teenagers to do.
While Michelle Ellis, 42, said a cinema would be a good idea and there needed to be more things to do, despite this she said she liked living in the city. Ms Ellis thought a scheme allowing people to rent a bike on the beach would also be a good idea.
Robin Jackson, 44, said he also believes there needs to be more in the city, but any change needs to be democratic and people need to have a say in the plan. Councilor Andrew Gardner, who represents Hoylake and Meols for the Conservatives, said he welcomed the NDP’s ambition but said ‘the problem with what is essentially a wishlist is one of deliverability’ .
Cllr Gardner added: ‘The NPD and any ‘master plan’ will need to sit within Wirral Council’s impending local plan and go to the relevant council committee. I can assure affected residents and businesses of full democratic control of the proposals. No one should think that the proposals are some kind of “concluded fact”.
David Sindall, Labor Party candidate for Hoylake and Meols in the local elections, which will take place on May 5, said: ‘I am delighted to see so many options on the community engagement website, and would love to see as many as many people as possible are contributing their ideas to the new Hoylake NPD.We are already seeing existing EV charging stations in use, and adding more could be helpful as more people make the transition in the years to come.
“Similarly, I would be happy to see measures to make prom more accessible. My own proposal is for a “changing” toilet, with a lift and space to allow people to use the facilities with dignity, which could make a dramatic difference in the lives of people who might want to enjoy a day here.
Full list of candidates running in Hoylake and Meols in the Wirral local council elections:
- Alix Cockcroft (Green Party)
- Tony Cox (curator)
- John Ellis (Independent)
- Peter Reisdorf (Lib Demo)
- David Sindall (Labour)