Scarborough Council to review town's coastal defence strategy

The coastal defence strategy in Scarborough is to be re-examined in a bid to protect more than 1,900 homes and businesses over the next century.

Scarborough's tourist infrastructure and heritage assets are predicted to be affected by coastal erosion and sea flooding over the next 100 years.

Scarborough Council is to undertake a “refresh” of its plans to tackle coastal erosion following a £468,000 grant from the Environment Agency.

Scarborough attracts more than 3.5 million visitors each year but studies have shown that more than 1,700 households, 200 commercial properties and much of the town’s tourist infrastructure and heritage assets are predicted to be affected by coastal erosion and sea flooding over the next 100 years if nothing is done to address it.

A report will go before the authority’s cabinet on Tuesday outlining the next steps it intends to take.

The report states: “Scarborough Borough Council wishes to develop a refreshed coastal strategy for the town of Scarborough (covering 7km of coastline between Scalby Mills in the north and Holbeck in the south) which builds upon the previous strategy from 2009 with important new data and information from the past decade on observed rates of change from ongoing coastal monitoring, condition of existing defences, environmental and heritage designations and features and projected rates of climate change.

“The strategy will seek to better understand the issues, identify and shortlist options, describe the cost and benefits of options for future management of the coastal defence assets in Scarborough.

“Once completed this will allow the council to seek funding from the Environment Agency to undertake any necessary capital schemes on behalf of the community.”

A number of the town’s existing defences are nearing the end of their serviceable life, with some more than 100 years old.

The strategy will look at ways to ensure the town’s safety for the next century while also planning for effects of climate change.

The report adds: “Specifically for Scarborough South Bay, particular attention will be given to the sea flooding risks along Foreshore Road and the physical constraints on potential options imposed by existing infrastructure and businesses.

“This may reveal opportunities to think creatively about planning and land use development in a broader context and link into wider regeneration and placemaking aspirations.

“The effects of climate change, and in particular sea level rise, on wave overtopping, coastal erosion and beach loss are critical in such considerations.”

The cabinet will be asked to begin a tendering exercise to find a contractor to produce the new strategy.