Sea defence plan is eyesore

Holding an artist Don Glynn's impression of the proposed new Spa sea defences, Freddie Drabble, centre, with fellow Sons of Neptune Cec Ridley, Chris Found, Brian Dew, and Charles White, with local artist Don Glynn, showing how far the proposed new Spa sea defences will extend out from the wall.   Picture by Andrew Higgins  114452c
Holding an artist Don Glynn's impression of the proposed new Spa sea defences, Freddie Drabble, centre, with fellow Sons of Neptune Cec Ridley, Chris Found, Brian Dew, and Charles White, with local artist Don Glynn, showing how far the proposed new Spa sea defences will extend out from the wall. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114452c

A SCARBOROUGH campaign group is calling for a rethink on a proposed sea defence scheme which it claims would spoil the beauty of the town’s South Bay.

Members of the Sons of Neptune have hit out at the plans for the area around the Spa which, if approved, would see a huge slab of concrete erected – almost the height of the existing sea wall – 27 metres along and sloping 40 metres out to sea level.

Freddie Drabble, one of the group’s founding members and a consulting solicitor, commissioned an artist’s impression of the plans.

He said: “It’s a huge concrete blot that risks the view. There’s nothing wrong with the existing wall – it needs a bit of pointing.

“It’s unbelievable that someone could see an answer where there isn’t even a problem.

“This is the ruination of the town as I know it.”

He added the sea wall had stood for more than 100 years and claimed the scheme would spoil a view loved by artists and visitors for years.

Fellow founding member and radio presenter Charles White said: “I think it’s appalling and I think it’s not necessary – the Victorians knew how to build these things.”

Don Glynn, the Old Town-based artist who created the painting, branded the plan a “monstrosity”, adding: “As an artist it breaks my heart to see that structure. This beautiful architecture has been here for more than 100 years. It’s a waste of money.

“These walls have been here for hundreds of years and never been breached. Turner [the famous artist who painted the scene] would be turning in his grave.”

But Scarborough Council has stressed the proposal is just one of several options being considered and no decision had yet been made.

Previously the council secured £500,000 funding from the Environment Agency to explore various options to protect the sea defences at the Spa.

Chris Bourne, the authority’s projects manager, said: “The sea walls in front of the Spa have reached the end of their serviceable life and require attention in order to safeguard both the public and private assets they support. Doing nothing is not an option.

“The Environment Agency has strict criteria for the provision of funding in respect of technical, cost, sustainability and environmental criteria that must be met.

“As might be expected, there are a number of viable options available for the defence of the Spa area that meet the Environment Agency’s criteria and these options have all been developed to a strategic stage and the council has carried out a public consultation with key stakeholders that has included the Sons of Neptune, who have provided a response.

“A preferred option has not been identified at this stage.”

The cabinet decision is due to be taken at a meeting on December 15.

l The Sons of Neptune, which is consulted on various seafront projects, was formed in 1983 after a group of friends found out that Yorkshire Water was planning to build a new sewage outfall pipe from Marine Drive direct into the North Sea.

Later it vehemently opposed the building of the Marine Drive sea defences, claiming a wall to replace railings would ruin the view of the sea.