Town Deal : Maritime Hub consultation (Jan-Feb 2024)

North Yorkshire Council have announced a consultation on the £10m Town Deal “Maritime Hub” project. This is open until the 9th February. We encourage all residents to take part in this and have your say.

Flood Risk?

It is worth mentioning the following information that was presented at the Whitby Community Network public meeting on Monday 15th January (the powerpoint is here).

  • 2002 – there is a potential for West Pier and / or East Pier of Whitby Harbour to breach under storm conditions, possibly within the next 10 years or so (High Point Rendel).
  • 2009 – Further investigations confirmed the 2002 study. Royal Haskoning – “(A pier breach) … would lead to increased flooding along the River Esk, disruption or closure of the harbour, loss of access for vehicles to shelter and to service the numerous commercial operations along the river”, together with “A pier breach could have major secondary effects on the levels of risk experienced elsewhere within the study area, especially along West Cliff”. The conclusions (based on 2006 climate change predictions) were
    • Emergency work needed to East Pier extension
    • Urgently need £8.4m work to rectify condition (Env Agency £4.6m).
    • Total need £18m-24m to improve performance for next 50 years.
    • Repairs to extensions delayed for up to 20 years.
  • 2019-2020 – Repairs to piers completed, £7.6m
  • 2023 – FOI to Env Agency, “what is the flood risk for Endeavour Wharf?“. Reply = Zone 2. After challenging this, response was “Oops, sorry Endeavour Wharf is Zone 3“.
  • 2024 – Repairs to pier extensions not yet in plan. Cost = £ ??millions. To be completed by 2031 (based on 2006 predictions). Estimated time to complete 2+ years. Need to use Endeavour Wharf for HGV access.

Overall in terms of flood risk assessment

  • NYMNPA have done strategic flood risk for River Esk down to Ruswarp Weir but not beyond.
  • DEFRA have done a tidal flood risk assessment for NE Coast and Whitby Harbour.
  • NYC Flood Risk Strategy 2022-2027 does not include tidal flood risks.

Conclusion : The Environment Agency and NYC urgently need to undertake a combined flood risk assessment (river + tidal) for Whitby. This should be done before the Maritime Hub and Swing Bridge Pedestrianisation projects go ahead.

It would be great to hear a response to this from North Yorkshire Council so that Whitby Harbour can have a clear future with minimised risk

Consultation Venue issues?

We have also been forwarded the following email from a concerned resident regarding the accessibility of the consultation.

Dear Mr Flinton

I wonder if the person responsible for choosing venues in Whitby when a consultation is to be held is aware of the contents of the attached letter which I sent to you in November 2023?
It would seem that someone somewhere within NYC is deliberately ignoring the needs of disabled and older people in our town despite my request.
The latest consultation re the proposed Maritime Hub will be held on 3 days this month, one to be at the East Side Community Centre, (maybe the organiser has thought it better not to antagonise me on the issue by selecting this one), and two at the inaccessible to many venue of the Coliseum.  Why two at this place?  One perhaps but at least another more accessible building is needed, if not even two, as suggested in the previous letter.
To remedy this I’d like you to instruct the relevant person to arrange at least one other suitable venue, fully accessible and with a hearing loop for deaf residents and large print copies for those with a sight impairment.
As I have previously said, if NYC does not comply with the requirements of the Equality Act it leaves itself open to an accusation of disability discrimination.
Yours sincerely
[name retracted]
Copy of letter referred to, as follows:
Dear Mr Flinton
I am writing to you with regard to the current consultation Whitby Public Realm.
I consider that elderly, infirm and disabled residents, including myself, are being discriminated against by the council’s choice of venue for the public consultations.
The Coliseum, despite being in the town centre, is one of the most inaccessible buildings in the town for this large sector of residents.  Public transport does not cover the whole town, taxis are expensive and the unadopted road is not easy to walk on for physically or sight impaired residents.
Therefore I consider that you are discriminating against me and others by not using more suitable locations. The council website tells me that you are an inclusive council, I tell you that you are not in this instance.
As our council, and our employee since our council tax probably pays most of the council’s salaries, you must demonstrate that you are making your services acccessible to all.  Therefore I am requesting that you bring the consultations to the residents and arrange for them to be held at community hubs, including The East Side Community Hub, the Green Lane Centre and Marton Court as a minimum.
By doing this you will give all residents the opportunity to see and discuss the plans on their doorstep, so to speak.  Parking is available at these venues and to be a truly inclusive council you should make use of these community centres for future meetings and consultations, including area committee meetings.  Until you bring the council to the communities instead of vice versa you will never achieve the aim of inclusivity.
Please consider this letter as a complaint of discrimination against a disabled person, that person being me.
I look forward to an early response.
Yours sincerely
[name retracted]

We can only agree with this resident. Having truly accessible consultations should be a clear priority of North Yorkshire Council in our opinion, and the more people who can express their views, the better the end result. Alex Richards of NYC has since replied.

Dear [name retracted],

Richard has asked that I address the concerns raised in your email.

I can confirm that we are now seeking to book  further accessible locations on the West Side of Whitby to undertake consultation – this will include the Whitby Leisure Centre and possibly the Marton Court Venue.

Once the arrangements and dates have been confirmed we will publicise this through our usual media channels.

Thank you for your correspondence on this matter

Yours sincerely

Alex Richards

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One thought on “Town Deal : Maritime Hub consultation (Jan-Feb 2024)

  1. Why can’t they build the maritime hub on the soon to be vacant Eskdale school site ??

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