Access restricted to promenade shelters

The Victorian shelters on the promenade at Whitley Bay.'REF 0107148553
The Victorian shelters on the promenade at Whitley Bay.'REF 0107148553

Three seafront shelters initially earmarked for demolition have had sections closed due to safety concerns.

North Tyneside Council has restricted access to the three structures on Whitley Bay’s Northern Promenade.

An independent inspection carried out says the shelters in their current condition pose a potential health and safety risk to the public.

The council has cordoned-off the roof areas and restricted public access until a decision has been made on their future.

The public will still be able to use the insides of the shelters, unless further deterioration occurs.

Chief executive Patrick Melia said: “The safety of our residents and visitors is paramount and will always be our priority.

“We have taken swift action to address the findings of this report, and we have secured parts of the shelters in the interests of public safety until we make a decision on their future.”

Demolition was postponed following opposition by residents, with the council commissioning the assessment to ensure public safety was not being put at risk while the future of the shelters was reviewed.

Future options will be included in the council’s Seafront Masterplan proposals, which will go out to public engagement later in the year.

The report raised concerns about the shelters’ timber and felt canopy roofs, which are noticeably damaged and structurally weak, highlighting that ‘should anyone trespass onto the canopy roof – which can be easily done from the grass embankment – there is a significant risk of falling through rotted timber deck or collapse of the roof’.