Cabinet to learn sea defence cost

Scarborough Spa
Scarborough Spa

THE cost implications of two sea defence options to protect the coastline in South Bay will be presented to Scarborough Council’s Cabinet in the New Year.

The Cabinet unanimously agreed at a meeting to sanction a detailed investigation into a rock armour or stepped concrete slope in a bold attempt to eradicate damage and “leave a legacy like their Victorian forefathers”.

Officers’ preferred option of a moderate height wave wall with rock revetment, along with the option of a concrete stepped revetment are being investigated further.

Both options would help protect public assets such as the Spa.

Cllr Andrew Backhouse, portfolio holder for coastal and flood defences, said: “Rock armour is the cheaper option, while the stepped revetment has maintenance issues and a larger footprint on the beach – we need to balance the aesthetics of both schemes against the costs and ongoing liabilities for the council. The next report to Cabinet will explore these issues.

“I want to reiterate that doing nothing is not an option. Climate change models show rising sea levels and greater wave overtopping which will increase the risk of flooding to the Spa and other infrastructure in that area. That would not just be damaging to the buildings themselves, but also to the Spa as a business asset and the town’s economy as a whole.

“Therefore, although I appreciate both proposals will have an impact on the visual aesthetic of the Spa from the seafront and will take up space on the beach, I believe it is essential to ensure the Spa site remains a viable venue for hosting events to attract tourists, as well as providing entertainment all year round for residents.”

Once the cost implications of the two options have been evaluated, a further report will be submitted to Cabinet in February when councillors will decide which one they want to see put forward in a business case to attract Environment Agency funding.