Sea defence work hailed

Ongoing work at the Headland Fish Sands beach
Ongoing work at the Headland Fish Sands beach

MAYOR Stuart Drummond has praised council officers for their efforts in securing external funding for vital coast defence works.

Sea defences on the Town Wall, at the Headland, and large sections of defences at Seaton Carew will be strengthened as part of a multi-million pound work programme.

Funded by the Environment Agency, the work has been commissioned by Hartlepool Borough Council and Mayor Drummond praised council officers for their work in securing the funding.

He was speaking after being given an update on plans at his regeneration and neighbourhoods portfolio.

The £1.3m Town Wall coastal scheme is being fully funded by the Environment Agency under its Flood and Coastal Resilience Partnership funding (FCRPF) programme.

Meanwhile, phase two of the work at Seaton Carew will see £3.5m provided by the Environment Agency under their FCRPF programme, £300,000 from Northumbrian Water and around £500,000 by the council, although that could be recouped from developers as part of wider plans to redevelop Seaton Carew.

Alastair Smith, assistant director of transportation and engineering, said: “I would like to congratulate the officers for their hard work.”

Mayor Drummond added: “I welcome the report and congratulate the officers who have worked hard to gain the external finance for the works.”

The Town Wall scheme will see the toe of the wall strengthened with concrete, groynes on the beach reconstructed, continued maintenance and construction of a set back flood defence rear wall to prevent flooding.

Engineers are still working on designs for the set back defence wall, which will be subject to approval from the Mayor as portfolio holder.

Meanwhile, work on the groynes at the Town Wall has already begun and is expected to last about 12 weeks.

Plans for the second phase of work at Seaton Carew, subject to planning permission, involve construction of a new seawall and promenade from the Seaton Lane access ramp down to the Northumbrian Water Headworks building, about 2,100ft in length.

It follows the £1.5m first phase along the section of seafront opposite the Staincliffe Hotel.

The project saw rock armour installed along a 1,500ft stretch of sea wall and a new 240ft stretch of sea wall built.

A report by Mr Smith said: “The Town Wall is subjected to the effects of coastal erosion and ongoing deterioration.

“Failure to undertake the toe protection and ongoing maintenance, carried out currently by PD ports and HBC, would place the Town Wall itself at risk of damage and collapse which will ultimately impact on the adjoining highway and residential properties.”

He added that the existing seawall at Seaton Carew is in a poor condition, although it is protected by the wide beach.

Mayor Drummond noted the progresses on the two schemes and agreed for a further report once the detailed design of the set-back wall at the Town Wall is complete.