Plans in to reinforce Sunderland's Stonehill Wall after Storm Emma wreaked havoc on city's coastline

Major plans to future-proof coastal defences near the Port of Sunderland have taken a step forward.

Saturday, 16th May 2020, 6:00 am

Later the same year, around £3.1million worth of ‘stabilisation works’ were approved at the sites to prevent further damage.

In recent months, plans have been progressing to repair Stonehill Wall in a bid to protect development on the east shore, including the new enterprise zone development and the Port of Sunderland.

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Stonehill Wall in 2018

Sunderland City Council’s ruling cabinet agreed to start the process of appointing contractors earlier in February and to spend around £975,000 on ‘critical maintenance works’.

This week, a planning application was submitted outlining the works in full.

The programme includes a reinforced concrete deck area, copings and splash wall to replace the existing storm-damaged deck area, extension works and a new access ramp to allow access to foreshore.

In addition, an extension is planned to the existing rock revetment in front of Stonehill Wall within the seabed/foreshore.

Stonehill Wall in 2018

A report prepared for councillors earlier this year described Stonehill Wall as an “integral part of the sea defence frontage”.

It went on to say: “By undertaking the proposed works the lifespan of the structure will be extended; Hudson Dock will continue to be protected and access to the foreshore will allow for a more effective maintenance and repair to that area of the coastal defences.”

Subject to approval, the project is expected to start this year and would take around 26 weeks.

Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, Coun Amy Wilson, added: “Storms and heavy seas in early 2018 damaged sections of the city’s sea defences and coastal infrastructure.

“With calmer weather, the council and its contractors were able to complete a series of emergency repairs to the Old North Pier, New South Pier and Stonehill Wall.

“A more comprehensive programme of works is now being readied for the city’s sea defences at Stonehill Wall to help protect infrastructure and commercial activities at the Port of Sunderland.

“Subject to the planning and consultation process, the council could start these works during the summer months.”

Comments on the plans can be made by writing to the council’s planning department before June 4.

For more information, visit www.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference: 20/00676/LP3

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