Runswick Bay Coastal Defence Scheme

The BIM compliant coastal defence scheme consisted of seawall repairs and the placement of c.9,500 tonnes of Norwegian high density granite armour-stone in front of an existing concrete seawall to create a rock revetment defence in a National Park. The historic concrete seawall had reached the end of its serviceable life with a predicted failure/loss within 10 years. The new revetment scheme also helps to combat the effects of sea level raise and increased storminess predicted as a result of climate change.

The newly constructed scheme offers 100 years of better protection to 96 residential and 17 non-residential properties that were predicted to be lost should the seawall fail. Of these, 6 properties are listed structures and the village itself falls within the country’s 40% most deprived area banding. Over £21,100k present value whole life benefits have been protected as well as infrastructure such as access roads and utility services networks. Tourism, the foremost revenue stream of the community has also been safeguarded by the works. Current visitor figures state c.20k staying visitors and c.70k day visitors to the village yearly, which is also important to the wider Borough economy.

Construction challenges involved the delivery of rock by barge, working in an isolated rural village, working during extreme weather (the ‘beast from the east’). Working on a tourist beach during the bathing season. Developing innovative methods and techniques to create viable rock pools not done elsewhere. Site shut down during school holiday periods.