Doing away town’s history and heritage

Re Spa and rock armour

Cllr Cluer reckons that rock armour is the council’s preferred choice of protection after a consultant (!) report for their £5 million pound white elephant called the Spa! (isn’t it funny how consultants always find in the council’s favour). It is quite fitting that they want to ruin the outside of it after ruining the inside!

Despite repeated letters in the Scarborough Evening News, nobody except the council know who these consultants/engineers are, who studied the walls? Where did they study? Was it under some one as respected as Dr Bruce Denness (former Professor of Ocean Engineering at Newcastle University) who has inspected the walls and concludes that there are decades of life left in them with minor repairs carried out. If it’s lasted for a century now, it shows it was built properly. When were the last repairs carried out to the sea wall? I have never seen any in the time I have lived here.

Costs for this have been mentioned at £16.6 million (is this estimated or a guaranteed cost) - it is the cheapest option. Cheap is never good or lasting, as for the line “rock armour would last twice as long” well show us the figures that prove this point!

Less CO2? How is this arrived at? Where are the figures? Rock armour imported from Norway, dumped on the beach, craned into position. This doesn’t sound very CO2 friendly to me. So again, where are the figures to back this up? Let’s all see them.

Another line “due to climate change seas are getting violent and higher” (only a green councillor would use these lines) hasn’t the councillor read or heard of the figures on global temperatures published by Environment Minister Gregory Barker in a parliamentary answer to Tory MP Ann Main (Daily Mail 24/4/12) that temperatures last year rose by a third of a degree from an average of nearly 14c between 1961 and 1990 even James Lovelock has said that “we don’t know what the climate is doing, they thought they knew 20 years ago that led to some alarmist books (including his) because it seemed so clear cut but it hasn’t happened”.

Rock armour is safer? We have all seen people, sitting, playing, climbing, fishing even biking on the armour. As it’s going to be put down at children’s corner how long before a child is stuck or injured in the rocks.

Take up less beach? Again no-one has said where it would start and where it would finish. Do we lose the Victorian undercut, under the Ocean room and the steps to the beach where the Spa water flows!! The slipways etc let’s have an answer. No-one has even mentioned how long the Spa road and beach would be closed while all this armour is put in place (remember the headland?)

The alternative is collapsing cliffs or a stepped revetment. What have the cliffs got to do with the spa wall?? This is a drainage problem. Government funds needed to stabilise the cliff? Well just repair the wall then get the funding.

We have lost so much heritage in Scarborough and we will lose more. If the Whitby piers can be stabilised without rock armour, due to an outcry by the residents, why can’t the council listen to the public here?

Surely all this should have been looked at before the refurbishment (that’s another story!!!!) of the Spa. It seems that Scarborough is not allowed any history, this council want to do away with it all, redevelop the town hall, the Futurist, close cliff lifts, decimate the town centre by allowing a supermarket to build a massive store, open air swimming pools, amenities in the North Bay, but as always what it wants it gets and who cares about the people!

Chris Gray

Valley Road