Go-ahead for latest work in £9million Hartlepool sea defence scheme

Headland sea wall, below Albion Terrace.
Headland sea wall, below Albion Terrace.

New plans to beef up sea defences on the Headland won the unanimous backing of councillors.

Works as part of a wider £9million Headland sea defence scheme were approved by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

It covers roughly a quarter of a mile stretch of the sea front between York Place and South Crescent.

A council report stated: “The proposal involves the strengthening of approximately 400m of the existing sea wall by constructing a new sea wall with revetments in front it and rock armour boulders in locations at the foot of certain sections of the wall.”

Work will include the demolishment and replacement of the parapet wall, including coping stones, between the Heugh breakwater and Redheugh Gardens.

On the sea facing side of the wall work will include a stepped, sloped and rock barricade along the lower promenade and paddling pool.

Councillors unanimously approved the scheme following a visit to the area yesterday morning.

Councillor Rob Cook, chairman of the council’s Planning Committee, said: “The site visit was so people could see exactly what was what, and what was proposed, what the materials were like etcetera.”

Coun Ray Martin-Wells previously asked for the site visit due to concerns about the use of concrete in the works.

He said: “As an authority we are very careful when dealing with conservation area, listed buildings and in this case scheduled ancient monuments.

“We went to the site visit this morning.

“I’ve got to say I was very impressed with defence side of it.

“I’ve seen the top coping, it looks as though it will withstand a small nuclear attack which is what we want.

“We want this thing to last if we are going to spend millions of pounds on it.”

Coun Martin-Wells added that decorative stonework will help the new scheme to blend in to what is already there.

He added: “I think we need this defence work. I’m perfectly content that the works that have been proposed will look right they will blend in and they will do the job, so for that reason I will support it.”

Hartlepool Borough Council is two years into a five-year project costing more than £9m to strengthen the Headland’s sea defences against erosion.

Objections to the latest part of the scheme were raised including disruption to residents during the work, that it may harm the character of the conservation area, and that the money would be better spent on upgrading the Heugh breakwater.

Nobody attended yesterday’s meeting to speak against the scheme.