Break for work on sea defences

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and Seaton Carew councilor Cath Hill at the site of the works
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and Seaton Carew councilor Cath Hill at the site of the works

A MULTI-MILLION pound project to boost sea defences is taking a six-month break after the first phase of work was completed.

Work has been taking place to reinforce the sea defences along a 700-metre stretch of Seaton Carew’s coastline, from the Station Lane access ramp to the coach park, since September.

The first stage of the work has involved excavating beach sand to up to 15ft deep and replacing it with a stone platform buried underneath the beach.

The stone foundation needs to be allowed to settle over the winter, and work on the sea wall will start again in April.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “It was always the intention to carry out the Seaton sea defences improvement scheme over two phases.

“Phase one must be completed by the end of October for environmental reasons and the second phase will start in April next year.”

The second phase of works is expected to take about eight months.

The total cost of the scheme will be about £4.3m, of which £3.5m is being funded by the Environment Agency. The remainder is coming from council and Northumbrian Water.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond previously said: “The threat of rising sea levels and coastal erosion along Britain’s coastline is a serious one and Hartlepool is no exception.

“We are very grateful to the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water for giving us the funding to enable us to carry out this vital work.”

It follows a £1.5m Environment Agency scheme last year to beef up sea defences further down the coast at Setaon.

That paid for new wall and rock defences put along a 1,640ft stretch of the coast and included the development of a new wall formerly occupied by the North Shelter, along with a new promenade with new seating and lighting.

The work is being carried out after a long-running survey into the problems caused by erosion along the Hartlepool coastline.

The shore at Seaton Carew and the coastal areas around the Headland were highlighted for improvements.