More talks over Spa sea defences

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COUNCILLORS are today set to discuss the latest recommendations on controversial plans to upgrade crumbling sea defences around the Scarborough Spa Complex.

Members of Scarborough Council’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee are due to hear officers’ latest recommendation at the Town Hall from 10am.

The Cabinet decision to explore two options – rock armour or a large stepped concrete slope – was called in for further investigation because members felt other options also needed to be considered.

In her council report Pauline Elliott, the council’s head of regeneration and planning services, said that many alternative coast defence options had been considered and discounted during previous studies – on the basis that they are not viable and did not comply with minimum standards.

She added: “The council could agree to relax the minimum standards for technical, economic and environmental criteria which may result in alternative options, but schemes brought forward under relaxed criteria may not attract essential grant aid required to deliver the scheme, or may attract increased liability for the council.”

Mrs Elliott said that the officers’ recommendation to improve the foreshore defences at the Spa using a rock revetment and a 1.1m wave wall was on the basis for further study.

She said: “The recent change in legislation regarding a partnership approach to funding and that there is a possibility that the council and other beneficiaries may have to provide contributory funding in order to deliver works on site.”

Members of the committee will have to decide a preferred option and recommend it to the Cabinet as a basis for further study. The long list of options which will be considered include:

l no action

l managed realignment

l maintenance and repair of existing defences

l land reclamation

l beach recharge

l beach recharge and control such as groynes

l beach management system

l raised seawall

l rock revetment

l detached breakwater

l a secondary floodwall

l slope stabilisation.

Mrs Elliott said: “On the basis of these previous considerations several of these options failed to achieve compliance with the EA minimum criteria and were therefore assessed as being not feasible in terms of viability.”