Counting cost of coastal consultants

ALMOST £200,000 is being spent on reviewing a coastal strategy for Runswick Bay – with more than £128,000 being spent on consultants.

The consultants will examine and update a plan prepared ten years ago on the protection of the coastline at Runswick Bay and then prepare another report saying what needs to be done.

According to the timescale mentioned in a report, due to be put to Scarborough Borough Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, it will be another two years before the new report is presented to senior councillors who will then decide what to do next.

A grant of £196,000 has been awarded to SBC from the Environment Agency and will cover specialist consultant services (£128,000); defence condition assessment (£20,000); procurement and consultation (£15,000); project management (£15,000) and £18,000 for contingency.

The council says the consultants are needed to produce a high quality strategy in line with Environment Agency guidance and will be appointed following a tendering exercise.

The council report being considered says the new report the consultants will draw up will “better understand the issues, identify and shortlist options, describe the cost and benefits and select a preferred option for a capital scheme.”

At the moment the plan for managing the shoreline at Runswick is to “hold the line” even though it says further work will be needed to maintain this such as reinforcing the natural protection provided by the rock outcrop.

The main aims of the strategy review are to make sure risks from sea flooding and coastal erosion are identified and understood for the next 100 years, a full range of management options have been considered, they are feasible and that the findings are consulted on.

Once that option for a capital scheme of actual work has been decided SBC will go back to the Environment Agency for funding to allow it to go ahead.

An original report, the Shoreline Management Plan, was compiled in 1997 and followed five years later by the Runswick Bay Coastal Defence Strategy where it was recommended it be reviewed every 1- years.

In the report SBC says: “The Strategy and Product Appraisal review are seeking to address recommendations highlighted in the Shoreline Management Plan and the 2002 Runswick Bay Strategy.

“The Strategy and PAR report will study the affected area comprehensively and develop options to address the identified issues and develop and appraise new and old policy.”