A £14 million scheme to protect close to 400 homes and a Victorian theatre is underway in Scarborough.
The Scarborough Spa Slope Stabilisation Scheme will involve piling along the rear of the Spa complex with almost horizontal drainage, among other measures, to combat slippage and increase stability.
The scheme, which is expected to be completed by Christmas 2019, will also include soil reinforcement and re-grading of the slope to address shallow and medium seated instabilities, together with further drainage measures, repairs to the arch structure near the Spa Cliff lift, relaying of cliff access paths and basic landscaping and replanting.
Scarborough Borough Council leader Coun Derek Bastiman said it had taken a “lot of work” by councillors, contractor Balfour Beatty and North Yorkshire County Council, to get the “extremely important” project underway.
The start of the work comes a week after the 25th anniversary of the Holbeck Hall Hotel disaster, when heavy rainfall and poor drainage saw the town’s only four-star hotel disappear over the cliff edge, not far from where the Spa sits.
“Unfortunately, I’m old enough to remember Holbeck,” said Coun Bastiman. “This is a slightly different scenario in so much as the land is different, however, the risk remains with almost 400 properties above the Spa and that is why we have acted to secure the cliff.”
A Defra grant of £11.6m, administered by the Environment Agency, has made up the bulk of the funding with the difference being made up by Scarborough Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council. The final total stands at £13.453 million.
Ed Hinton, senior advisor for flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency said the scheme would will help protect 380 homes.