Harbour Masterplan: ‘Before the Flood’
Harbours correspondent ALLAN ROBERTS questions the left hand’s acquaintance with the right handover the Scarborough Harbour Masterplan.
On Tuesday 20 July 2021 the SBC Cabinet will meet to discuss a Report outlining the threat of climate change, etc, at Scarborough.
The report tells us that;
“The coastal defence strategy in Scarborough is to be re-examined in a bid to protect more than 1,900 homes and businesses over the next century, and that Scarborough Council is to undertake a “refresh” of its plans to tackle coastal erosion following a £468,000 grant from the Environment Agency.”
The report singles out one particular area…..
“Specifically for Scarborough South Bay, particular attention will be given to the sea flooding risks along Foreshore Road and the physical constraints on potential options imposed by existing infrastructure and businesses.
This may reveal opportunities to think creatively about planning and land use development in a broader context and link into wider regeneration and placemaking aspirations.
The effects of climate change, and in particular sea level rise, on wave overtopping, coastal erosion and beach loss are critical in such considerations.”
Now just hold on a minute. Have not SBC recently committed £6.5m to the adoption of a MASTERPLAN dreamt up by Hemingway Design to build new ‘infrastructures and businesses’ on West Pier, which is of course within the very area singled out for special attention in this latest report.
It is common knowledge that West Pier is exposed to tidal flooding, by way of its very location, as shown in the following images illustrating the damage that West Pier, the Fish Market and the other buildings on it, have suffered in recent times. Even the RNLI Lifeboat Station, built in 2016 at a cost of £3m, is not immune to sea damage.
It is notable that the nowhere in the Hemingway Design Masterplan – the charges for which, so far, stand at £26,151 – does it acknowledge the obvious risk of building in an area with a history of regular flooding, building damage etc.
Were the inherent risks of development on West Pier made clear to Hemingway design, when they were engaged to produce their Masterplan for West Pier, I wonder.
Interestingly, this latest report is written by the Coastal Manager at Scarborough Borough Council, Stewart Rowe, who has over 15 years of experience in coastal management in the UK, and who presides over a team of Coastal & Flooding Project Managers, including monitoring programmes and capital works within the Borough of Scarborough.
It does make one question whether anyone speaks to each other within the Town Hall.
What is clear is that the deadline for the funding application, to implement the Hemingway Masterplan, will run out before the Coastal Defence Strategy is even completed.
In the light of that fact, the most important question arising is:
Does it make sense to continue with the totally inadequate Hemingway Design Masterplan, or should it be shelved?