£9.5 million Hartlepool sea defence scheme suffers further damage

Two more large stones installed as part of a new multi-million flood defence scheme on Hartlepool's Headland have moved out of place.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 17 January, 2019, 15:02
Headland resident Alan Cook by the affected coping stones.

Hartlepool Borough Council last month launched an urgent investigation after two coping stones on a new ramp leading to the beach came out altogether.

Now it has emerged that a further two stones at the top of the new sea wall near Corporation Road are out of position.

The coping stones appear to have slumped forward and there is a gap of approximately an inch between the stones and the newly-laid promenade.

Headland resident Alan Cook, 72, believes they have been dislodged by the force of waves slamming against it and the water being able to get underneath the stones.

Mr Cook, a retired fisherman, said: “These stones should be designed to withstand the force of the sea and they are failing to do that.

“The wall this has replaced had been there for over a century. These have only been in a short time and they are out of position already.

Two of the new coping stones appear to have sunk forward.

“The original coping stones were concave so when the sea came up it threw it back on itself, whereas here this design doesn’t do that. It is flat.

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“The sea hits it with tremendous force and has lifted the stones up.”

The work has been carried out as part of a £9.5million scheme along the majority of the Headland to better protect residents from rising sea levels.

Part of the original wall is still in place at the far end of Marine Drive after the council said it is not in as bad a condition as previously thought.

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s transport and infrastructure manager, said: “We are fully aware of damage to the area, which is picked up and monitored during our ongoing weekly inspections.

“We have been investigating the problem and have uncovered that it is linked to the use of some modified coping stones.

“This type of coping was utilised along this small section of the wall to ensure the new defences could be accommodated over the height of the existing sea wall behind them.

“We are now replacing this modified coping and reverting back to the original coping design to fix the problem.

“It is again important to highlight that the sea defences scheme is not finished as work is still required to complete the sealant in between copings and panels as well as rectifying the defects.”