PROPOSALS to demolish part of a historic promenade have been “categorically rejected” by town leaders after residents campaigned to save it.
The controversial plan was one of four possible options put forward as part of efforts to boost the headland’s sea defences.
Experts say hundreds of homes, the Heugh Gun Battery, St Bega’s Primary School, the lighthouse and the memorial are under threat from coastal erosion within the next century unless millions is spent on defences.
Mott MacDonald consultants put forward four possible options on behalf of Hartlepool Borough Council to combat the risk.
Three include various ways of strengthening the sea wall.
The fourth – and cheapest option – was to demolish the sea wall and promenade, adjacent to Town Moor, angering residents.
But residents have been reassured that option four will no longer be considered in the process.
It follows a meeting at the Borough Hall on Tuesday attended by more than 150 residents, Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and town MP Iain Wright.
Mayor Drummond said: “Nothing has been considered yet by the council. But before the meeting I spoke to the engineers and said we are not going to go for that option, so I would like to reassure the public that won’t be an option and I think people were happy with that.
“Now we can focus on how we can actually make the coastal defence more protective and protect the Headland for the next 100 years.”
A Stop the Heart from Being Ripped out of Hartlepool campaign group was set up to fight option four.
The group said on their website: “Thankfully we have managed to have option four removed though we need to ensure that no further proposals involve the removal of any part of the promenade, threaten the village green or any aspect of the Hartlepool’s heritage and future.”
But the meeting heard there was still many unanswered questions, particularly concerning flooding on the Headland.
The Environment Agency has classed three areas as flood zones raising concerns among residents over house values and insurance costs.
A further meeting to answer people’s concerns and questions is due to be held later.
Mr Wright said: “I think residents will have hopefully been reassured that option four is not on the table but its also a case of making sure they have enough information as possible from the environment Agency about issues such as flooding and sea defences.”
Independent St Hilda councillor John Marshall said: “Both the mayor and MP categorically said option four is not an option for the Headland.
“These issues affects every single person on the Headland and if we don’t get the answers and investment to protect us from the sea it will put this community at risk.”
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