Repairs to Sunderland Coast following Storm Emma Damage

Written by on 26th April 2018

Emergency repairs to Sunderland’s coastal defences and it’s piers are getting underway after backing from the City Council’s Cabinet.

The Old North Pier, New South Pier and Stonehill Wall were battered when Storm Emma and the Beast from the East combined and caused ‘significant damage’.

The repairs are being estimated at costing approximately £3.1m with costs being met from the council’s capital budget after the cabinet meeting backed a series of repairs.

Speaking after the meeting, Les Clark, the City Council’s Chief Operating Officer, said work on the Old North Pier would begin as soon as possible.

He said: “The construction of the Old North Pier began in the late 18th Century as part of the development of the Port of Sunderland and is now over 200 years old.”

”It protects the Port of Sunderland and residential properties, as well as the beach itself and it is important that we undertake these repairs.”

The first stage of Old North Pier works involves stabilising its eroded section and the second stage is sheet piling and concreting.

Mr Clark added: “All these repairs should prevent the damage getting worse and therefore reduce the risk of mounting costs in the future.”

It has been estimated that without the pier it could annually cost up to £100k for port dredging works.

Initial works for the Old North Pier are imminent and schedules for the Stonehill Pier and New South Pier works are now being drawn up.

The repairs in full:

  • Old North Pier – The cost estimate is £1.25m as a large section of the pier (35 metres/114ft) was lost during the March storms. The 19th century pier helps protect Marine Walk Beach to its north and also helps stop sediment building up in the Port of Sunderland’s navigation channel to its south.
  • Stonehill Wall – The cost estimate is £1.5m as storms severely damaged the 240m/787ft long wall’s concrete deck.  The repairs will incorporate a new reinforced concrete deck and splashwall.
  • New South Pier – The cost estimate is £0.35m as the 850m/2,788ft long pier lost sections of its concrete deck and granite coping. Proposed repairs will see these reclaimed and re-used, and new concrete decking.

Neither the Stonehill Wall or the New South Pier, which both date from circa 1900, are listed structures.

While, all the works are expected to take between eight and 20 weeks to complete.

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