Thursday, 20 March 2014

Redcar Flood Alleviation Scheme Complaint Part.Five

With respect to our continued plea to get diggers and tools to shift the mess our beach is in we have had a follow up from Environment Agency (joint project managers). I shall post our response soon.

“Dear Carl

Thank you for your email of 3rd March 2014 regarding your concerns over the condition of Redcar beach following the completion of the sea defence works. This has been passed to me to investigate in line with our complaints procedure. I would like to provide you with an update on current plans to assist in remedying some of your concerns and hopefully clarify our position on ongoing responsibility.

As you will hopefully have been informed already your Freedom of Information request for contractual information will be dealt with separately.

Firstly I am sorry you were not informed of the date of Birse’s October revisit to the beach to carry out further cleanup works. This was purely an oversight, and James Mead, the project manager for the scheme, will ensure that you are informed of the date of the return visit in good time. Before we fix the date, we will be carrying out a join site walkover with Redcar & Cleveland Council and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns on this date. I can confirm that we still intend to arrange the clean up visit for April or May this year, weather and other works permitting, but it will certainly be before the summer. If you would like to discuss this with James he can be contacted by email at or by telephone on 01138196250.

I have looked a bit further into the source of the materials on the beach. I know from my involvement in the scheme that the revetment along the whole of the sea front was in a really poor condition. This was one of the main reasons that the scheme was constructed. Because of the poor condition, there were a number of failures in localised places which required emergency works. One of these failures happened just a few months before the scheme started on site, and the photograph below shows the extent of the failure. If you look carefully you can see that the hole goes right underneath the footpath, so a lot of material will have eroded as a result. You can also see patches of concrete next to the hole which shows where other repairs have been carried out, and similar repairs were carried out along the length of the promenade. This series of failures will have caused debris to have been spread across the beach, and may explain why there is unweathered debris present on the beach.

I am also confident in our contractor’s methods. We employed our own site supervision staff during the construction phase to ensure that this was the case. The sea defence elements of the works were completed in November 2012 and Birse carried out a number of sweeps of the beach between this time and the completion of the whole project in June 2013. Combined with the October 2013 revisit and further visit this spring we are satisfied that the beach cleanup carried out is thorough and is certainly beyond that contractually required and envisaged. I must conclude therefore that a substantial quantity of the rubble left on the beach must have arisen from the previous damage to the revetment, and that the contractor’s efforts have more than made up for any material which might have escaped as a result of the works.

I do however greatly applaud your efforts and desire to see the beach at Redcar kept in good condition. I would therefore like to offer the support of some of my workforce to join Birse when they carry out the spring sweep of the beach.

This project has been delivered in partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and not, as you suggest, solely led by the Environment Agency. As an integral part of this relationship, it was agreed that the responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the defences and surrounding area would remain with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. I know that everyone would want to see the seafront maintained well following such major investment and a suggestion of increased investment was raised, by the project team, with Redcar & Cleveland’s Neighbourhoods team at numerous points through project development and construction. Any queries about the future maintenance of the beach and surrounding area therefore will need to be directed to that team.

Please contact me again if you would like any further information."

We have replied and will be adding this to our Streetclub. It is free and easy to join.

Here are previous links from our initial complaint to date.