York & North Yorkshire

Delay to Scarborough work shoring up unstable cliffs

Scarborough Spa and cliffs in 2010 Image copyright Micheal Steele/Geograph
Image caption About 380 homes and businesses that were at risk are "now fully protected", said the contractor

Work to stabilise the cliffs behind Scarborough's spa will not be completed on time, the council has said.

The £16m works to the South Bay cliffs, which started in May 2018, are now due to finish three months late - in February.

It was originally expected the scheme would be completed by December.

However, the work which has been carried out means 380 homes and businesses that were at risk are "now fully protected", the contractor said.

The stabilisation scheme involves piling behind the spa complex and soil reinforcement, or "nailing", on the slope, together with new drainage to keep the cliff in place.

It also includes repairs to the arch structure near the Spa Cliff lift and the relaying of cliff paths, landscaping and replanting.

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The council had previously said "works of this magnitude" could be affected by "the unpredictable influences of weather and the surrounding coastal environment".

Project manager Chris Bourne said: "That project is now in its final stages, all of the structural work is in place and it is just a matter of finishing off and [the contractors] have just commenced the reinstatement of the paths, walls and fences."

Despite the delay, the council's audit committee has heard the cost will not overrun the authority's audit committee has been told, although the budget of £15.9m, including a contingency, is to be spent in full, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A 2014 report claimed any cliff collapse could result in the loss of the Grade II-listed spa building and put hundreds of cliff-top homes and hotels at risk.

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