Three-month delay to £16 million work to stabilise Scarborough cliffs

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A multi-million-pound scheme to stabilise the cliffs behind Scarborough’s Spa complex is to run into next year.

Scarborough Council has confirmed the £16 million works to the South Bay cliffs, which started in May 2018, will now not be completed on schedule.

Work on the unstable cliffs at Scarborough is running over

Work on the unstable cliffs at Scarborough is running over

The authority’s Audit Committee was told yesterday (Thursday) that the project’s cost would not overrun as a result.

Project manager Chris Bourne said: “The problem in this area was that the cliffs had a factor of safety that was very low and because of that a large number of properties - both at the top of the cliff and indeed the Spa at the bottom - were at risk.

“The solution that was identified was to install soil nails and some piles that would secure the cliff in place.

“That project is now in its final stages, all of the structural work is in place and it is just a matter of finishing off and [the contractors] have just commenced the reinstatement of the paths, walls and fences.

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“We had a project budget of £15.9 million and that budget will be spent in full, it will be largely on budget but it means we will have spent the contingency budget.”

Councillors were told that all contingency payments were verified by a project board and independently confirmed as being legitimate costs.

Mr Bourne added: “Because some of the risks we identified at the start of the project have come to fruition it has been slightly delayed. It is being delivered on budget but slightly late so the project delivery date has moved out from November 2019 to February 2020, so approximately three months late.

“The good news is that 380 homes and businesses that were at risk are all now fully protected.”

The South Cliff Stabilisation Scheme has been mainly funded by a Defra grant of £11.6m, administered by the Environment Agency, with the difference being made up by contributions from Scarborough Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council.