Fears over £1.5m plans to bolster sea defences on Hartlepool’s Headland

Alan Cook at Sandwell Gate.
Alan Cook at Sandwell Gate.

A CONCERNED resident fears plans to bolster sea defences on the Headland will fail to protect the area from flooding.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s £1.5m plans to install a set-back wall on the 300ft stretch of the Town Wall, on the Headland, will defend against overtopping, erosion and flooding in the area, say engineers.

But Alan Cook, 67, a retired fisherman who has lived on the Headland all of his life, says the new defences won’t prevent water from flooding into the residential area and onto the High Street over Sandwell Gate, which won’t be protected by the new 2ft wall.

Alan said: “My concern is that if the Town Wall is overtopped, the water is also going to come over Sandwell Gate and flood behind the new 2ft wall, rendering the defences useless.

“The water would then flood the High Street and the nearby residential areas.”

Council chiefs say the height of the Town Wall increases towards Sandwell Gate so the risk of overtopping is not as significant.

The council has identified 230 properties classed as at risk in the area and say the new defences will protect those homes in the future.

The plans have been backed by the authority’s neighbourhood services committee but are still subject to planning permission.

Alan added: “To be honest I don’t think the plans have been properly thought through, it’s been a pointless exercise.”

A group of angry residents who live on the Town Wall street featured in the Mail last week claiming other areas on the Headland are more at risk of flooding, and accusing the council of wasting money on the plans,and Alan agrees.

He added: “The lowest point of the Headland is Throston Bridge, as the residents pointed out.

“The council may well feel that the Town Wall needs protection but surely Throston Bridge needs some sea defences as well.

“The last storm surge we had on the Headland in December, it was Throston Bridge where the water come flooding in, and next year it will be exactly the same.”