Spa walls report due within days

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A MARINE pressure group is expecting an expert’s report into proposed sea defences at the Spa within days.

One of the proposals is a massive concrete slab which would cover an area of sand of almost 13,000 square metres.

The Sons of Neptune are opposing the plan and have called upon Dr Bruce Denness, former professor of ocean engineering at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, to provide his own report about the impacts on the existing walls.

Freddie Drabble, one of the group’s founding members, said the professor had inspected the sea walls during a recent visit to the site and would study the impact of the plan on the surrounding tidal area.

He added: “He’s going to give an opinion as to the state of the wall and whether the wall itself is capable of being repaired if necessary – whether the existing structure is adequate or whether any further support is needed.”

The group fears the planned wall would not only disrupt views but will divide the South Bay in two.

Mr Drabble said the concrete option would stretch out to sea for 37m – or 27m if rock armour was chosen as the prefered option – and both would stretch for a total of 350m along the existing Spa walls. They would start next to the steps, by the spring, and almost reach Children’s Corner.

He added that any structure would affect the tidal flow and there was a danger of “scouring” of the sand around it. “It will be another loss of sand.”

Dr Denness has previously been involved in investigations into both the Holbeck landslip and sewage disposal into the sea in the North Bay.

Mr Drabble added Dr Denness’ local knowledge is further boosted by having access to advice from the former president of Scarborough Trinity House and past editor of Olsen’s Nautical Almanack, the late captain Sydney Smith MBE.

Scarborough Council has stressed the proposal is one of several options being explored, after instructing consultants to provide solutions for protecting the sea defences at the Spa, and no decision has yet been made as to how £500,000 funding from the Environment Agency will be spent.

The cabinet decision is due to be taken at a meeting on December 15.