Milestone in move for hi-tech study into crumbling cliffs

A hi-tech investigation into crumbling cliffs around a seaside town is to clear a major hurdle.

As reported by the Yorkshire Post, Scarborough Council has recently embarked upon a study of the Filey coastal slopes and defences.

John Riby, Head of Technical Services, says the study involves site investigation work to measure the threat to the sea defences from coastal erosion and landslips.

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He added: "The council is now looking to appoint an experienced ground investigation contractor to undertake a series of boreholes.

"The boreholes are being sunk in order to undertaken a detailed ground behaviour assessment and slope stability analysis."

Contracts have been drawn up to dig up to seven boreholes, nearly 1,000ft down, including specialist testing and analysis of samples.

Five firms have been bidding for the work but councillors are being recommended to sign with Allied Exploration and Geotechnics (AEG)

The cash from the Environment Agency will pay for a detailed study of the potential risk of failure of Filey's coastal slopes and sea defences and what more could be done to protect the town and its seafront.

An initial report by the council suggested that if nothing was done at all, as many as 250 properties could be put at risk.

At the moment, the council carries out routine repairs and maintenance to the sea wall and other infrastructure, but a report by senior officers said a detailed study should be undertaken to assess the long-term stability of the coastal slopes and address the issue of "outflanking" of the sea wall.

Before the project was approved, Filey ward councillor Mike Cockerill asked for an assurance that the study would include Arndale cliffs, north of Coble Landing, where coastal erosion and landslips have already taken their toll.

In the 1990s, Filey Sailing Club lost its clubhouse to a landslip and successive floods have caused considerable damage to the access road and slipway.

A budget of 317,000 (100 per cent Environment Agency grant aid funded) is available for the study which includes a provisional budget of 100,000 for the ground investigation.