£3.4million pier repair project resumes to protect 100 homes

BEFORE WORK: A photo taken of the pier ahead of work starting on the North Pier in July.
BEFORE WORK: A photo taken of the pier ahead of work starting on the North Pier in July.
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WORK to protect a town’s homes and businesses from coastal flooding is set to resume.

The £3.4million project at Seaham’s historic North Pier brings together Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and port operators the Victoria Group, and aims to prevent coastal deterioration.

It will protect 100 homes and 30 businesses, with the work to stop storm waves damaging the harbour and surrounding infrastructure.

After starting in July, work was halted in November to avoid the worst of the winter weather and to accommodate overwintering birds from Northern Europe.

From Monday, there will be limited parking at the marina, while Slope Beach and Spiles car parks will be closed as cabins and storage facilities are returned.

Work will recommence on the pier from Monday, March 2, and continue until November.

Extra parking will be available at weekends, with businesses to remain open, and plans to restrict access to the breach.

The North Pier and South Pier were built between 1899 and 1906 to protect the harbour, but the North Pier has been breached at least three times.

It could be at risk if action is not taken and Seaham’s defences would decline.

John Reed, head of technical services at the council, said: “This work is absolutely vital because the North Pier has been breached previously, and could be at risk in future if left untreated.

“The project is progressing well and is on track to be completed by our target date. We’re aiming to keep disruption to a minimum and we appreciate the patience and cooperation of local businesses and marina users during the work.”