Defective steel piling will be repaired – but only on Endeavour Wharf

The defective steel piling at Endeavour Wharf will, at long last, be repaired by Scarborough Borough Council. But  defective steel piling is also a major problem on our two Pier Extensions, where the wave action is much greater.

The 680 meter combined perimeter of the foundations to the Extensions is protected from wave scouring by steel piling backed with concrete. Scour can create voids in the mudstone bedrock and the underside of the concrete foundations. Large voids can de-stabilise the structures and eventually cause collapse.

Following a Diving Survey in 2008, Scarborough Borough Council’s consultants advised that 218m (32%) of the Extensions’ piling had either disintegrated or had been holed or was excessively corroded. In 2008 consultants also alerted SBC that the landward end of the East Extension was cantilevered over a 6m deep by 2m high void and in danger of imminent collapse. The remedial work, including 75m of new steel piling, was eventually completed in 2011 with a £4m grant.

Two Strict Conditions

In 2012 the same consultants sanctioned the postponement of the remedial work to the remaining defective steel piling on the Extensions for 20 years, in order to prioritise the restoration works to the Main Piers. However, this concession was subject to two strict conditions:

Firstly, Diving Surveys were to be carried out every 5 years, to monitor the piling, the concrete backing and the voids. The first survey should have been completed in 2013, with the second survey due in 2018. These Dive Surveys were to provide SBC with an opportunity to start any early emergency repairs.

Secondly, to take horizontal cores in the concrete foundations, so that the consultants might gain a better understanding of the erosion process.

To my knowledge SBC have been requested in writing, on two occasions, the first in early April, to confirm that these two conditions have been fulfilled. No replies have been received.


The thought that the condition of the steel piling on our Pier Extensions might not have been monitored by a Diving Survey since 2008 is quite terrifying. It would mean that SBC are not aware of the current extend of the problem, and therefore do not know whether or not they should be intervening with emergency remedial works.

Without these surveys they would be rendered blind, which is a situation that is totally unnecessary, extremely reckless and very dangerous.

Vin McLaughlan
Egton Bridge, Whitby

[This letter appeared in the Whitby Gazette on Fri 28 July 2017].

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