RESIDENTS have given their backing to a £9m scheme to improve the sea defences on the Headland.
A consultation was held at the Borough Hall yesterday as Hartlepool Borough Council presses ahead with its plans to strengthen the sea defences at the Heugh Gun Battery and the Block Sands.
Council chiefs say if no further works were carried out in the area over the next 100 years, 562 commercial and residential properties would be at risk of erosion.
An event was held at the end of last year where residents took the chance to cast their eyes over the plans for the first time.
Yesterday, the council presented its proposed option to strengthen the sea defences which include encasing the existing wall and providing a rock armour structure to the toe of the wall.
Kieran Bostock, the council’s senior engineer, said: “We held a workshop in November where members of the public were able to see the proposed option and we took the feedback on board, went away and came back with the proposed option.
“We will now take on board the feedback we get from residents, continue to produce our business case and present it to the Environment Agency board which will hopefully give us approval.”
If approved, the Environment Agency will provide £7m of the £9m required to fund the project. The council will have to come up with the rest of the money required. If the plans get the green light, council bosses say work will start in March next year.
Residents who attended yesterday’s consultation backed the plans.
Pam Hill, 55, an independent researcher who lives in Baptist Street, on the Headland, said: “Something has to be done and from what I’ve seen of the plans, they look good.
“My house would be one of those at risk of erosion and I think the plans seem very sensible.”
Pamela and James Horsley, who live in Henry Smith Terrace, on the Headland, were also impressed by what they were shown at the consultation.
Pamela, 59, said: “I think it would be money well spent, the sea defences need strengthening.”
Ian Lister, 42, who works for Caterpillar in Peterlee and lives in Marine Drive, said: “I think everybody who lives on the Headland would be keen to back these plans. A lot of residential properties are at risk as well as historical buildings such as St Hilda’s Church, the Heugh Gun Battery and the Town Wall.”
Councillor Jim Ainslie, a Labour representative on the Headland and Harbour ward and also chair of the Headland Parish Council, praised residents for turning out for the consultation.
To view the sea defence proposals visit www.hartlepoolcoastal.com.