Fresh plans to improve Whitley Bay’s coastline while safeguarding sea defences have been approved.
North Tyneside Council’s planning committee today (Tuesday) approved proposals for the sea defence scheme at the Central Lower Promenade.
The scheme – which is expected to have a 100-year lifespan – will protect homes, businesses and the surrounding area.
It replaces a previous scheme for a grass bank leading down to the lower promenade, and will save the council £1m.
The committee heard that the plans went on public display at the end of last year and were supported by 90 per cent of attendees.
Work is expected to start in April and be completed by October.
The revised scheme involves building a new rear wall and strengthening the existing sea wall on the lower promenade.
The upper promenade – which will incorporate a design including the previous balustrades – will be widened while the lower promenade will feature open space that can be used for pop-up style stalls, seating and events.
The proposals received unanimous backing from committee members.
Whitley Bay ward councillor John O’Shea said: “It compliments what is going on at the Spanish City Plaza and will be a wonderful asset to Whitley Bay.
“I’m fully in favour of the revised scheme and pleased the other one didn’t go ahead.
“It is going to be the jewel in the crown for Whitley Bay.”
Coun Ed Hodson added: “This is a big improvement on the previous plan.”
After the committee, 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 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.
The work 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.
For more information about the Seafront Master Plan and the Central Lower Promenade scheme visit http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/642/coastal-regeneration