Sea defences scheme set to move forward

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LANDSCAPE surveys will take place in Scarborough’s South Bay over the next few weeks as part of a study into a potential scheme to improve the sea defences around the Spa Complex.

Over the next few weeks topographic surveys both onshore and offshore will be carried out, along with investigations into the ground conditions and foundations of the sea wall in the Spa area.

Several other surveys have already been carried out and the results are currently being interpreted, including environmental surveys to identify the different habitats and species present in the area around the Spa and the cliffs behind, and landscape, archaeological and heritage surveys to determine the cultural and heritage constraints.

The Spa sea walls were built during the 1890s to protect the Spa Complex, the cliffs and the developed area of the Esplanade above the Spa.

It is claimed that the deteriorating condition of the sea walls is being accelerated by the effects of climate change.

Stewart Rowe, Scarboroughh Council’s principal coastal officer, said: “The sea walls around the Spa complex were built over a hundred years ago and protect the Spa complex, the cliffs and the Esplanade above the Spa. The walls are deteriorating due to their age and require works to improve their condition.

“Any works proposed by this ongoing study would also try to reduce the amount of wave overtopping that occurs around the Spa sea wall. However the important point to stress is that we are still in the very early stages of this project and the development of any possible solutions is still a long way off.

“When these options are developed in the future, they will of course be subject to full public and stakeholder consultation and rigorous council decision making processes.”

There will also be a noise survey to help inform limits for the construction of the any scheme in the future and a cliff survey to map the features of the cliffs and identify any damage present.

The information gathered will feed into the study, being funded by a grant from the Environment Agency, which is looking at options for the sea defences along the Spa section of the Scarborough frontage.

The study is expected to last three years and could lead to the construction of improvement works.