Why is a scheme needed at the Spa?
The coastal defences at the Spa protect the bottom of the cliff from erosion by the sea. If the sea was allowed to erode the base of the cliffs, landslides would occur and the cliffs would start to collapse into the sea. This could occur in a similar manner to the Holbeck Hall Hotel collapse that occurred in 1993. This would result in the loss of the Spa complex and threaten the properties at the top of the cliff. In addition, there is also an issue with wave overtopping; current levels are approximately 300 times the recommended safe limits for pedestrians.
Why is it being carried out now?
A scheme is needed at the Spa in the near future because the cliff is known to be unstable, existing coastal defences are over a hundred years old and are reaching the end of their life, and wave overtopping places people, vehicles and buildings at risk. This scheme is taking a proactive approach to ensuring the future stability of this section of the coast, if we wait until a large landslide starts to move then it will be too late. This scheme was identified as the priority area in the 2009 Scarborough Coastal Defence Strategy.
Where is the money coming from to do the scheme?
The current phase of the project is being funded by a grant from the Environment Agency. If the scheme is approved an application for a grant to construct the scheme will be made.
When will it be built (how long will it take)?
There are several stages the project has to go through in order for it to reach construction. There is a flow chart on the Timeline page of this website which shows the process the project has to go through. The current stage of the project is developing the outline design of the scheme and producing a business case in order to obtain approval from the Environment Agency and apply for funding from central government.
If funding is secured the detailed design of the scheme can commence, following completion of this the construction can begin. In addition to this consents and approvals will have to be applied for and obtained before construction work can begin, this includes planning permission. Therefore it could be several years before any work takes place on site. The duration of the construction will depend on what the scheme design ends up being, however construction is likely to last up to one year.
Will we still be able to use the beach?
During construction of the scheme it is likely that the beach will have to be closed off for safety reasons. Once the scheme is completed the beach will be open to the public as usual.
What will it look like?
The scheme has not yet been fully designed; we will be developing the design of the scheme and its appearance over the next few months. We will be consulting with the public, statutory bodies and organisations, and various groups during the process to help inform the development of the scheme. The options being considered and their potential appearance are shown in the Options section of this website. We will post further information on the design of the scheme on this website as it becomes available.
How will I know what is happening with the scheme?
This website will be regularly updated with how the project is progressing.
Why can’t you just replace the wall with another wall?
Replacing the existing wall with another wall to the same height would only deal with the problems to do with the stability of the seawall; it would not solve the wave overtopping problem. In order to reduce the wave overtopping to the recommended safe limit for pedestrians, without having a revetment on the beach, the seawall would need to be raised by up to 9m above the level of the promenade. The works to the cliffs behind the Spa would also still be required to prevent landslides.