Ainsdale Beach in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Due to unforeseen circumstances and in, as always, seeking to ensure the highly sensitive natural environment at Ainsdale-On-Sea is protected, Sefton Council has had to delay the tender process for works to deliver an off-beach car park.

The initial aim was to open the new facility in time for this year’s summer season. 

As well as being a popular spot for beach lovers, Ainsdale-On-Sea is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, which Sefton Council is committed to protecting.

After the Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service, and other consultees, informed the Council of concerns about the specialist survey of the site carried out by external consultants, the decision has been taken to undertake new surveys and assessment. 

The planning application to progress the visitor improvements will be resumed later this year once the new surveys are complete.

A Sefton Council spokesperson said:

“We are disappointed by the delay, but the protection of Sefton’s natural environment remains a priority. 

“The Council remains wholly committed to delivering improved visitor facilities at Ainsdale-On-Sea and plans to improve toilet and wash facilities at the beach are continuing.

“This work means a full refurbishment of the building, the reintroduction of shower facilities, drinking water and an accessible Changing Places toilet installed too.

“However, we are also firmly committed to caring for Sefton’s wonderful natural coastline and the specialised habitats it provides so will only progress with plans for the car park once these further surveys have been carried out satisfactorily.”

Sefton Council also continues to evaluate wider options and opportunities for this Gateway, including potential developer interest in the Sands Hotel, and the future of Toad Hall. 

In the meantime, following storm damage last year, some further repair works to Toad Hall will be starting in the next few weeks.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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