A STRUCTURAL survey of Scarborough's famous Lighthouse Pier will be undertaken to ensure that it is safe after a 10ft deep hole opened up.
Scarborough Borough Council engineers are expected to carry out further studies from tomorrow after the hole was discovered early on Christmas Eve.
Initial investigations have found that the hole may have been caused by material being washed away from underneath, which has then led to the overarching surface caving in.
The hole, which is about 10ft wide and 15ft long, opened up halfway between the lighthouse and a historic gun which is situated down a flight of stairs. The area has been cordoned off with barriers to prevent public access.
The council's head of technical services, John Riby, maintained he is confident that it is an isolated problem, but the structural survey will be conducted to ensure there are no other issues with the pier.
He added: "At this moment in time we are still in the initial stages of our investigations. In the meantime, our top priority is public safety, so we are cordoning off the area to prevent access and are advising people to take care when in the area.
"In the new year, we will then look to carry out remedial works and probe the rest of the pier to check there are no other similar voids elsewhere."
The public are still able to access the pier via the electronic bridge, but they will not be able to go as far as the seating area, which will remain out of bounds until further notice.
However, it is hoped that the seating area will re-open in the new year once repairs have been carried out.