December 5 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 7, 2013
‘Permanent solution’ to be put in place for collapsing 18th century quay.
WORK begins on Monday to create a long lasting solution for the crumbling Old Quay Head at Ilfracombe Harbour.
North Devon Council has borrowed £2million to pay for a permanent repair of the 18th century listed quay, although it is hoped the final bill will be less than that.
The urgent work is being carried out by contractors Dyer and Butler to prevent the unstable wall from collapsing, with years of exposure to the elements leaving it bulging in places.
“However, the wall has now deteriorated to the extent that temporary repairs are just not suitable any more,” said executive member for development in Ilfracombe, Councillor Mike Edmunds.
“We have to take this more permanent action to safeguard the wall, the harbour and the immediate community for the future.”
Chairman of the Harbour Board, Councillor Geoff Fowler, added: “This working quay is a fundamental part of the town, both in terms of supporting the local fishing industry, as well as acting as a tide protector to the local community.
“Although it’s a costly project, we need to preserve this wall now, so in the long run it can help preserve the function of our town.”
The repairs will include a new concrete wall faced in natural stone being built against the existing wall, to act as a permanent support.
It is likely to take up to six months to complete as contractors can only work at low tide
Councillor Paul Crabb said there had been a great deal of discussion with local fishermen and hard work on all sides to find a more permanent solution.
“Hopefully, this is an important step to us achieving a safe and permanent working quay on this landmark historical structure,” he said.
Local ward member, Cllr Paul Yabsley added: “There inevitably will be some disruption as the works are carried out, but I hope that local people, businesses and visitors understand how vital it is that this work is done promptly and thoroughly.”