SCARBOROUGH Council’s Cabinet has decided to proceed with technical investigations for rock armour in front of the Spa, so if these are satisfactory and funding is forthcoming, we are likely to end up with rock armour in that location.
This has been a very controversial issue, as ideally people wouldn’t want to see any construction on the beach in front of the sea wall at the Spa, so I would like to explain the position.
It is well known that the cliffs behind the Spa are liable to slip, and if the slippage became too severe it could endanger both the Spa and properties at the top of the cliff. Extensive engineering work is required to try to secure the cliffs, and this needs funding from the Government. However, they will not give us funding unless at the same time we deal with the problem of the sea wall.
After lengthy studies by engineers, we know that we cannot just repair the existing sea wall. Due to climate change, the seas are increasingly violent and getting higher, and the old wall will not be able to cope with the new conditions going into the future. All possible solutions were looked at and the only technically feasible options are rock armour or a concrete stepped revetment.
At first the Cabinet chose the concrete steps, but I called this decision in for scrutiny because it had so many disadvantages. The scrutiny committee unanimously agreed with me and with the council officers, and we have finally persuaded the Cabinet to go for the rock armour. These are the reasons:
1 The rock armour would last twice as long and require far less maintenance.
2 It would cause less than half the carbon dioxide emissions.
3 It would take up less of the beach and be a much better habitat for wildlife.
4 It would be safer, as people would probably play wave-dodging and slip on the steps.
5 It would cost the Council around £2 million less!
The only alternatives would have been collapsing cliffs or a stepped revetment which would have been unsafe, unsustainable and unnecessarily expensive.
Green Party Councillor, Stepney Ward,