Part 2 continues from the previous Post –
‘Whitby piers repairs: what do we know? Your Whitby Gazette probes the issue that could affect us all…
Steve Siddons, Leader of the Labour Group [on Scarborough Borough Council], said: ‘Up to 2010, all coastal protection work was paid for out of national taxation but now this Conservative Government has passed much of that on to local residents. It’s not our fault that we live by the sea, so why should we have to pay to protect our coastline? We may be faced with a multi-million pound shortfall in funding to repair Whitby Piers, but Robert Goodwill MP has passed the cost onto the residents of Whitby.’
The piers have protected the town from the sea’s wrath since the 18th century, but the Grade II Listed structures have fallen into a state of disrepair. Locals have been calling on Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) to act before the flood defences fail, citing a Report by Royal Haskoning back in 2009 which referred to a number of major defects on the structures.
We asked you for your views, here’s what you told the Whitby Gazette:
Dean Clews: ‘Look forward to that… heard it so many times and it just never happens.’
Rob Paddock: ‘SBC needs to look outside of Scarborough for a change!’
Lyn Goodsel: ‘Never put off till tomorrow what should be done today!’
Permission granted but will the bridge be replaced?
Plans to bring back the East Pier’s missing bridge link were approved by councillors at SBC’s Planning Committee meeting in January 2018, but the council doesn’t have the money to carry out the work. The footbridge [to the East Pier Extension] was removed 17 years ago in 2001 and since that time the Extension has been inaccessible to pedestrians. Construction to bring back the missing link is expected to cost in the region of £350,000 and the council is waiting to hear if a bid to the Marine Management Organisation to fund the project has been successful.
Councillor Joe Plant, SBC Cabinet Member for Transformation, said ‘I welcome the granting of Listed Building consent and the continuing efforts of the Officers involved in trying to make it happen. However, I am also mindful that the plans are still subject to obtaining the necessary funding. Along with my fellow Cabinet Members, we will keep a close eye on the process and await the funding decision due later this year.’
Currently, the only access to the East Pier Extension for harbour staff is by boat, which was described by SBC’s Head of Planning Services, David Walker, as a ‘risky operation.’
[With thanks and acknowledgements to the Editor, Whitby Gazette, this feature article was published there on 23 Feb 2018. Part 1 was published on this website last week].