Work is underway to protect Whitby homes from tidal flooding

Work on a £2.095 million scheme to help protect Whitby from tidal flooding is now underway and is expected to be completed by the end of spring 2020.

By Martina Moscariello
Monday, 1st July 2019, 2:45 pm
Church Street.
Church Street.

The flood alleviation scheme will involve the construction of a reinforced concrete flood wall, 303 metres long with an average height of 0.95m, to the east side of the town on Church Street, to improve the standard of flood protection for 54 residential and eight commercial properties.

Whitby has a long history of tidal flooding, with records back to the 1800s.

Tidal flooding of the Church Street and New Quay areas of the town centre occurs relatively frequently. Major events were most recently reported in 2005 and 2011.

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Church Street also flooded during the December 2013 storm surge causing the flooding of many properties and the highway, which caused major disruption.

There are currently no formal flood defences in place to prevent tidal overtopping of the quay walls. The existing quay walls function as retaining walls and to prevent erosion from

fluvial and tidal flows. This means that any tide which exceeds the height of the top of the quay wall flows into the road and subsequently floods adjacent properties.

The new flood wall will run adjacent to the public footpath from Parkol Marine to Church Street car park. It will be constructed to withstand a 1 in 100 year type of tidal flooding event and to comply with Defra’s and the Environment Agency’s best practice on coastal flood management.

Esh Group will carry out the construction and the project is being managed by Mott Macdonald on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council.

Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said: “This new flood wall is timely work when we are seeing an increasing frequency of tidal breaches and I am really pleased at how Scarborough Borough Council, Environment Agency and Local Enterprise Partnership have worked very well together over a number of years to get the scheme started. Schemes such as this are complex and time consuming. Funding solutions are not always as straight forward as we would like and I will continue to lobby central government to release more funds for councils and their partners to deliver more local flood alleviation schemes.”

The largest funding contribution towards the scheme, £1.1million, has come from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, administered by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the Northern Powerhouse.

The scheme was awarded a Defra Coast and Flood Protection Grant in Aid of £672,000 by the Environment Agency.

Ed Hinton, Coastal Flood Risk Advisor at the Environment Agency, said: “We are really pleased to see construction work on the Church Street flood alleviation scheme get under way. Not only does the scheme better protect 62 properties from tidal flooding, it also better defends a major road in and out of the town, helping keep the town open for business in times of high tides.

“This scheme, in conjunction with the ongoing £9 million investment to upgrade the piers, will help to better protect people and properties into the future, which will include helping to

mitigate the effects of future sea level rise.”

Other contributions towards the cost of the scheme are £246,000 from the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee’s Local Levy, £61,000 from Scarborough Borough

Council and £15,000 from North Yorkshire County Council.

To allow the scheme to proceed, part of Church Street car park will be closed off to vehicles during the site set up.

Once the construction part of the scheme begins in a few weeks’ time, there will be no parking available in the car park. Alternative car parking will be available at the Abbey Headland car park, with a free shuttle bus provided for car park users wishing to travel into Whitby and back.