Spa sea wall plan to be scrutinised

CONTROVERSIAL plans to bolster sea defences around the Spa Complex will be further investigated in the New Year.

Cllr Peter Popple has called-in this month’s decision by Scarborough Council’s Cabinet to investigate both a rock armour defence or a stepped concrete slope in the South Bay.

He said: “Just to prop up the present wall with whichever option does not address the cliff instability. Much more investigation and modelling must be done before we disfigure the Spa buildings.”

Cllr Popple added also questioned whether the main problem in the area was being addressed with the two alternatives. He said: “Are they addressing coastal erosion or issues relating to drainage and build up of pore water pressure.

“Before one of Scarborough’s iconic buildings is disfigured by options which may cause more problems than they may solve certainty of purpose must be answered.

“The first line of defence in coastal areas is the beach itself. The options being considered may cause a longshore sediment rate which could silt up the harbour. No modelling appears to have been done to determine if beach movement would occur.”

Campaign group the Sons of Neptune have also opposed both options and have said that maintenance of the existing sea wall would provide an adequate sea defence against the raging North Sea.

Freddie Drabble, one of its founding members, said that he did not want to see a repeat of mistakes of the Marine Drive project – which went massively over budget. He added: “We’ve got that danger flag waving above us. We are prepared to work very closely with the council in the support of goodwill.”

Cllr Andrew Backhouse, the council’s portfolio holder for coastal and flood defences, said: “I welcome this additional opportunity to speak to members of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee on 30 January, where a more in depth conversation can take place in regards to the report presented to Cabinet.”