Give us a flood gate, not a half-metre wall, says Whitby council

Plan for the flood deflector wall
Plan for the flood deflector wall

Whitby Town Council has objected to plans to build a flood deflector wall at the town’s historic West Pier.

The council is not happy that the 50cm high wall is replacing a planned flood gate that was previously approved for the area.

The wall would be used to stop floodwaters coming up a slipway and flooding businesses on Pier Road and Battery Parade.

The town council wants Scarborough Council, as the applicant, to go back to a plan for a flood gate that was previously intended to be used.

The deflector wall is part of a £7.6million plan to restore and protect the long-term future of the Grade II listed structures which started in September last year.

A planning application for the change gives the reason behind the switch to a wall, which requires fresh planning permission to be granted.

It states: “During the process of applying for the Listed Building Consent, Scarborough Borough Council’s (SBC) conservation officer, Historic England and members of SBC (including councillors) proposed a number of alternative options to the flood gate at Battery Parade, the aim of which was to minimise impact on the West Pier and provide operational benefits in comparison to the flood gates.

“Scarborough Council has subsequently determined that a deflector wall should be constructed instead of the flood gate.”

The deflector wall is proposed to be formed from rectangular sandstone blocks.

The height of the wall will be approximately 55cm, with a width of up to 75cm.

The application adds: “As well as performing a flood defence function (under certain sea states), the wall has been designed to allow members of the public to sit along both sides of the wall.”

Whitby Town Council has now written to the borough council asking for the plan to be dropped.

The town councillors wrote that the wall would have a negative impact on the “character and appearance of the area.”

The letter added: “The area needs] the flood gate installed as previously approved and agreed with English Heritage.”

The saga over when the repairs to the piers would be carried out has played out over a decade after a report found “major” flaws in the structure of the North Sea defences.

If the piers were to fail, hundreds of homes and businesses could be flooded, causing millions of pounds of damage.

The deflector wall plan is now out to consultation.