Scarborough Spa

Coastal Protection Scheme, geotechnical design
(Scheme designer Coffey Geotechnics)

Project summary
Scarborough is one of the oldest seaside resorts in the UK, and has been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times. The Victorian spa building on the sea front was built at the bottom of a steep slope, and ornate gardens were built behind in terraces on the sea cliff. Houses and hotels stand at the top of the cliff, with beautiful views across the sweeping bay. 

The sea cliff has for many years been suffering from small slope instabilities.  With history of landslides in the area, including the loss of Holbeck Hall only a mile or so to the south, there was a nervousness among local and national authorities that the Scarborough Spa cliff was also at risk of a landslide.  This would have catastrophic consequences for the buildings at the top and bottom of the cliff, and given the popularity of the area could also pose a massive risk to life. 

I was the Principal Designer's (Coffey Geotechnics) project manager during the ECI phase of this scheme. I worked closely with the contractor and local authorities and agencies to solve the complex challenges that the scheme posed. My role was to lead the planning and design team to deliver; historical research; geological mapping and investigation; geotechnical modelling and slope failure mechanisms; site investigation; planning documentation for approval; public consultation material; full geotechnical design including construction drawings;  health and safety and environmental action plans. 

The scheme received approval and the Contractor and local council are now moving forward into the construction phase. 


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