Sea defences plan is to be unveiled

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A NEW wave wall and rock armour could be build around the Spa area of Scarborough’s South Bay to protect it from the ravages of the North Sea, according to a report due to be published today.

The report also recommends major slope stabilisation work behind the Spa which aims to prevent further landslips.

Scarborough Council’s Cabinet is due to consider the preferred option next Tuesday and once the decision is taken a business case will be submitted to the Environment Agency to secure further cash for detailed design, licenses and consents, planning applications, further public consultation and delivery of the scheme.

Cllr Andrew Backhouse, the council’s portfolio holder for coastal and flood defences, said the existing sea walls were built in the 1840s and were deteriorating with problems including: undercutting of the base, cracking and loss of joint material, holes behind the sea wall and displacement of masonry blocks.

He added: “It plays a key role in the stability of the cliff behind, supporting the toe of the cliff and preventing its erosion and over-steepening, which would inevitably lead to large scale landslips. It’s clear the existing coastal defences at the Spa are approaching the end of their life, despite ongoing maintenance.

“The cliff behind the Spa complex is known to be the site of a pre-existing landslides.

“A major landslide has the potential to endanger the Spa Complex and associated sea walls, in a similar manner to the 1993 Holbeck Hall Hotel landslip, leading to further coastal erosion and landsliding affecting cliff top propertiess.

“There is already evidence of damage due to landslide movement in the cliffs behind the Spa. Landslide risk is linked to the integrity of sea defences and as the condition of the current defences worsens, so the chance of a major landslide event increases.

“The current height of the sea walls is not sufficient to prevent severe wave overtoppingy.”

The rock armour scheme was the preferred option based on cost and environmental impact and is among six contained in the report.

If there are no stumbling blocks, work on the project could begin as soon as July 2014.