Harbour wall plan debated

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SOLUTIONS to prevent further failure of a Whitby harbour wall are set to be presented to Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) at a cabinet meeting later this month.

In February 2009 a 20m section of steel sheet pile wall in the Lower Harbour between the Swing Bridge and lifeboat station was found to have collapsed.

The proposals are a result of a report published last year, which blamed the collapse on dredging that had lowered the harbour bed so much the wall could no longer support the load behind it.

The structure, owned by Yorkshire Water, was found to have collapsed following repeated dredging of the main harbour channel, and dredging of the nearby yacht club pontoon area.

This dredging had lowered the level of the harbour bed, material nearer the sides had slumped away to compensate and the wall itself was no longer able to support the weight of the material behind it.

Ian Anderson, Scarborough Council’s head of legal and support services, said: “In the opinion of the expert employed by Yorkshire Water this gradual migration of material caused harbour bed levels immediately in front of the piles to become too low to support the load behind the piles, leading to the localised collapse. The 4.5 to 5.5 metres piles were subsequently replaced by 10.5 metres piles but as a result of this work, some damage to properties in the vicinity is said to have arisen.

“Yorkshire Water and Scarborough Borough Council are working with property owners towards a resolution and a report setting out all the possible options will be going before the council’s Cabinet in July.”

Last year’s report suggested the wall could be restabilised either by refilling the harbour bed with material that would not subside, or by installing additional sheet pile support to the wall. The cabinet meeting will be at Scarborough Town Hall on 19 July.