Scarborough Council is to spend almost £500,000 to make safe an area of the town’s South Bay to pave the way to replace a number of beach chalets destroyed in a landslip.
The chalets, which sit below the Clock Cafe, have been cordoned off following the collapse of a retaining wall in March 2018 which left them leaning at a 45-degree angle.
A further slip in November of the same year destroyed most of the Grade II Listed chalets.
The authority’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday next week (15th) to approve plans to repair the area so the chalets would be able to be restored.
A report written for the cabinet by the council’s project manager, Chris Bourne, states that the retaining wall would be reinstated under the plans.
He added: “This solution would create space to allow 11 chalets to be reconstructed on the same footprint as the previous chalets.
“Given their listed status the reinstatement of the chalets would need to be on a like-for-like basis although internal improvements would be allowed.
“The council historically paid for the water and electricity costs for the previous chalets. Any new chalets would be individually metered so that these utility costs can in future be passed on to the chalet owners or occupiers.
“The total budget required to deliver the reinstatement of the wall on its own is estimated to be £473,000 and is recommended to be approved now by cabinet and council in this decision.”
The extra money of £345,000 will come from the council’s insurance reserve on top of the £128,000 set aside in 2018 for the demolition, which would have seen the area made safe but not allowed for the chalets to be built again.
The price of replacing the chalets would require the council to find a further £243,000, with a number of ways to cover the cost to be investigated by the authority’s officers.
These include selling the 11 chalets on a 30-year lease for £30,000 each or for the council to keep the buildings to provide a constant source of income.
Mr Bourne adds: “Finally, the council can explore the viability of a partnership with an external developer who could replace the chalets at their own cost as part of a business case.”
If the plan is approved by the cabinet and then the full council it is proposed that the demolition would start “immediately” with the replacement wall scheduled to be completed by July 2020.
In the meantime, officers will examine how to proceed with funding the chalet replacement.