Millions needed to help save the crumbling piers

View of Whitby Pier''w140903c
View of Whitby Pier''w140903c

Millions of pounds needs to be found to stop Whitby’s crumbling piers from completely falling into the sea.

This week Scarborough Council voted to accept £4.8 million in grant funding from the Environment Agency as a contribution towards the £8.522m estimated cost of the protection works.

However, the rest of the money still needs to be found and the council may have to foot a large proportion of the bill.

The major report went before Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet by chief executive, Jim Dillon, on Tuesday.

It warned that the piers could have only have a lifespan left of 10 years.

“The piers form an integral part of the costal defences for the Whitby frontage and are important in terms of significance in the development of the town and the role they play in the tourist appeal of the town,” Mr Dillon said.

When members of the council’s cabinet meet on Tuesday they will be asked to accept a £4.8m grant towards the estimated £8.5m cost of saving the piers.

Whitby cllr Joe Plant said: “Whitby is very, very popular, it’s always going to be popular and it’s steeped in history.

“What we have to remember is that it’s not just about tourists it’s about the residents as well.

“We have to do all that we can.”

In his report Mr Dillon said a study has revealed both the main piers had “a residual life of less than 10 years” and were described as being in a poor or “very poor” structural condition.

He said: “Their condition will continue to deteriorate, ultimately leading to total failure if the council was to do nothing.

“This would result in the loss of beaches and re-activation of recessional processes along the cliffs, and within the inner harbour area.

Mr Dillon added in his report: “Higher waves would propagate upstream and increase flood risk in the (River Esk) estuary.”

The council also voted to spend £295,000 to fund a more in depth cost analysis of the work to help it understand extaly how much extra cash it needs to find.

The current outstanding estimated balance of £3.7m would need to be found from other sources, including the council and talks will be held with such organisations as English Heritage, the RSPB and Natutral England. Should the piers fail 362 properties are at risk of flooding.