Cliff erosion fears

HOMES in the Filey area could be lost because of continuing cliff erosion, with caravan sites and Filey Golf Club also likely to be affected over the next 50 to 100 years.

The warning comes in a report looking at the latest shoreline management plan affecting a long stretch of the coast from the River Tyne to Flamborough Head.

Although there are no definite figures, it is believed that two dozen properties and parts of the caravan parks along the cost near Filey are most at risk, as well as some of Filey Golf Club.

John Riby, the council's head of engineering services, said: "Because of coastal erosion, planning issues such as Amtree Park are being decided taking into account vulnerable areas."

The plan confirms there are "significant lengths" of the defences within the borough of Scarborough showing signs of ageing and distress which will not provide an adequate level of protection in the medium to long-term.

While Filey and its frontage will be defended as part of the plan, concerns have been raised about specific sites where a policy of "no active intervention" is favoured – in particular Arndale Cliffs and Flat Cliffs in Primrose Valley.

According to the final version of the shoreline management plan (or SMP2) by consultants Royal Haskoning, there needs to be a co-ordinated plan to address loss of properties in Flat Cliffs for which residents and the private sector would take responsibility, supported by Scarborough Council.

The report also recommends that advice be given to caravan park owners about retreating their sites and suggests setting back coastal paths where there may be a danger to the public.

At Arndale Cliffs, Filey Town Council and others have expressed concern over the maintenance of the access to Filey Sailing Club and the country park where the policy is one of "no active intervention".

The consultants have have responded by suggesting that minor works to shore up the slipway until it was no longer sustainable would not run counter to the intent of the plan, but funding would have to be found at a local level.

Mr Riby said unless the authority adopted SMP2 when it comes before the next full council meeting in July, it could jeopardise any future 100 per cent grant from Defra, as well as the proposed 90 million coastal defence spending in the next 10 years in the borough.