Latest plans for £9m Headland sea defence project

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

Proposals to improve sea defences in Hartlepool as part of £9m scheme are due to go before councillors next week.

Hartlepool Borough Council is two years into a five year building project to strengthen the Headland’s sea defences against erosion.

Headland sea wall, below Albion Terrace.

Headland sea wall, below Albion Terrace.

Plans to improve a 400-metre stretch of the sea wall between York Place and South Crescent are being recommended for approval by the council’s Planning Committee when it meets on Wednesday.

The existing parapet wall including coping stones between the Heugh breakwater and Redheugh Gardens and the parapet to the pedestrian access ramp onto the foreshore would be demolished and replaced.

A council report states: “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.

“Subject to planning approval, construction would commence on this phase in March 2018 with a completion date of October 2019.”

The council has received 12 objections to the latest proposals which fall within the Headland Conservation area.

Concerns include that removing a historic section of the sea wall will affect the character of the conservation area.

Disruption to residents during the work is also raised. Others say the money and resources would be better spent on the Heugh breakwater.

Work already carried out as part of the wider Headland scheme includes the building of a reinforced concrete wall on top of the Ancient Monument Town Wall, including a culvert to control water that overtops the wall.

In 2015, permission was granted for other reinforcement work to reinforce the wall between Pilot Pier and Heugh Breakwater.

And work is underway in the Marine Drive area.

The council report adds: “Many of the walls are now in poor condition and are susceptible to storm damage and erosion, and are frequently overtopped during storms. The current management response of patching and repairing the defences is considered an unsustainable costal management solution.

“Without substantial capital investment, maintenance costs will become unsustainable resulting in increased risk of defence collapse and erosion, with resulting impacts on coastal infrastructure and tourist and heritage assets.”