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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Tide turns in hunt to find repair funds

COPELAND Council is hoping to take advantage of a Government scheme to help meet its six-figure storms repair costs.

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Storm cloud: High seas crash against the Old Quay wall at Whitehaven harbour

By Andrew Clarke

Severe weather between December and February across the coast – with Whitehaven, St Bees and Seascale worst hit – has left the council with a bill of over £100,000.

The council has dipped into its own reserves to begin repair work, but has applied to the Government’s Bellwin scheme in the hope of having most of its outlay recouped.

In Whitehaven, the cost of making good damage to North Shore promenade and rock armour is estimated at £12,000.

At St Bees, a sink hole has developed in the northern end of the promenade, close to the previously planned Rottington Beck consolidation work. To repair it, plus some additional remedial work, will cost £60,000.

And in Seascale, the gabion baskets on the foreshore have been damaged and will cost £35,000 to repair and replace with rock armour.

Councillor Peter Kane, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Since the council’s teams delivered several thousand sandbags using over 75 tonnes of sand, in addition to the other flooding-related activity, our officers are confident the Bellwin threshold has been exceeded and any expenditure incurred by the council in excess of the threshold on storm-related infrastructure repairs should be recoverable.”

Storm damage to the coast defences at Parton will cost an estimated £27,000 to make good, however, Copeland is working with Network Rail to arrange this repair.

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