Rock armour for historic Spa?

A SCARBOROUGH campaign group has vowed to continue its fight against a proposal to bolster sea defences around the Spa Complex.

On Tuesday members of Scarborough Council’s Cabinet approved a scrutiny committee recommendation to investigate the possibility of adding rock armour to bolster crumbling sea wall.

Members also voted to accept an offer of grant funding, worth £290,000 from the Environment Agency, to carry out ground investigations.

But Freddie Drabble – one of the founding members of the Sons of Neptune – said it would be better to repair the existing defences rather than piling rubble in front of the historic buildings. He said: “We regard rock armour and concrete equally destructive to one of the beautiful settings in England.”

He added that the Spa, and its surrounding area, had historic significance and said: “I don’t see how it could possibly by in Scarborough’s interests. I just feel these important factors have been missed.”

Mr Drabble said that the group had an action plan to fight any developments and urged people who had strong views on the matter to write to the Environment Agency.

The rock armour option would cost £16.6 million compared with the stepped concrete slope which would cost £22 million.

Last week the council’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee recommended the rock armour option because it would cost less, had a lower CO2 cost and was less of a health and safety risk.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting Cllr Andrew Backhouse, the portfolio holder for coastal and flood defences, said: “Contrary to some reports in the media, we are approaching the point when we can no longer just simply pursue a tactic of make do and mend.

“The council has scrutinised each option very carefully and a lot of time and effort has been spent by both scrutiny committee members and the Cabinet to find the best possible option to progress with this very important scheme.”

It is understood that the results of the investigation will be back with Cabinet next February.