A revised scheme to strengthen and safeguard sea defences – which has saved more than £1m of public money - has been given the go-ahead.
North Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee has approved proposals for the sea defence scheme at the Central Lower Promenade in Whitley Bay, which will protect homes, businesses and the surrounding area.
It means vital work can now get underway to refurbish the structure, which is around 100 years old and is reaching the end of its serviceable life.
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said:
This is yet more great news for Whitley Bay. The Central Lower Promenade really needs important structural work to be carried out and the general appearance of the area is in need of improvement.
The scheme promises to achieve just that by strengthening and safeguarding sea defences and giving this stretch of the coastline a major boost. It will also save a significant amount of public money and takes into account ideas and suggestions raised by residents.
The revised scheme, which has received strong public support, involves building a new rear wall and strengthening the existing sea wall on the lower promenade.
It was drawn up after the Mayor decided the original plans and proposed price was unacceptable and a value for money exercise was carried out, which has resulted in savings of more than £1m.
It has also allowed the opportunity to include some suggestions from residents.
The project, which is being funded jointly by the council and partners Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency, will be carried out in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council.
An open space will be created on the lower walkway with new seating, providing a great opportunity for leisure activities and events.
The design also incorporates a commercial opportunity for ‘pop-up’ style stalls/units on the lower promenade.
The wide upper footway will be refurbished and enhanced while the design also includes the Mayor’s commitment to replacing the balustrades.
The work, which is due to be complete in winter 2017, will complement the improvements being made to the Northern Promenade.
The Central Lower Promenade scheme is part of the council’s £36m Seafront Master Plan, which aims to breathe new life into the coast between Cullercoats Bay and St Mary’s Island.
As part of the Master Plan, restoration work to return the Spanish City Dome to its former glory is continuing apace, a new Premier Inn is nearing completion next door, improvement work – including new surfacing and seating – is taking place along the Northern Promenade, efforts are underway to secure funding to refurbish St Mary’s Lighthouse and a number of private sector schemes are also underway.