Waterfront storm repairs completed for holiday weekend

Contractors have been pulling out the stops to get as much storm damage repaired ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend as possible.

Fences, barriers and notices along Plymouth’s waterfront look set to be removed this evening (Friday) following a frantic period of activity to ensure steps and rails leading down to the water’s edge from the Hoe are now safe for the public to use.

A total of 60 assets – ranging from walls and paths to the lido and piers – were damaged along the shoreline running from Devonport to Jennycliff during the winter storms.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Our staff and contractors have worked extremely hard to get as much done as possible before the Bank Holiday weekend. We have thousands of people coming to Plymouth to enjoy cycling along our roads as part of the Skyride – we wanted to make the waterfront as welcoming as possible.

Repairs have now been completed at:

  • Tinside – including repairs to the fountains, concrete repairs, relaying stones, repairing pumps and equipment in the plant room
  • Mount Wise pools – concrete repairs and repairs to the pumps
  • The Mount Batten breakwater is now open after surface repairs were carried out on the promenade area – but more intensive work needs to be done to repair the void to the breakwater
  • Mount Batten beach steps are now repaired and next week new metal gabions will be installed at the beach to be filled with stone as part of the beach’s erosion defences.
  • Broken areas of concrete at the Lion’s Den on the waterfront have been fixed
  • Steps and rails leading down to Pebblestone beach and Tinside Pavilion beaches are now repaired
  • Steps down to the beach at Devil’s Point and Western Kings – now repaired

It is estimated that so far the Council has overseen about £400,000 worth of repairs. The total cost of the damage is believed to be over £2 million.

Some of the stonework on the repaired walls on the waterfront may seem familiar. Stone from the now-demolished Barbican toilets now form part of a wall near the Lion’s Den.

Councillor Lowry said: “This is just the start. There are more difficult and complex repairs that will need a lot more work. The beach at Jennycliff, for instance, will need considerable work. The beach is completely off limits following the collapse of footpath and steps to the beach; there have been landslips and the paths washed away. We are talking to geotechnical experts to how we can best carry out the work.

Sarah O’Leary, Waterfront Manager for Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said: “It’s a great start and we really appreciate the efforts that the Council has made to make this happen. We are very pleased to see the response and prioritisation of repairs on the Foreshore supporting waterfront businesses and Plymouth’s exciting summer of events including La Solitaire du Figaro, MTV shows and British Firework Championships. Thousands of day trippers and visitors will once again enjoy our fabulous Britain’s Ocean City waterfront.”